Maddy and Megan

Special relationship gets Maddy and Megan through coronavirus crisis

Two University of Exeter students Maddy and Megan have forged a special relationship that has kept Seattle resident Maddy safe and well at Megan’s UK home during the global coronavirus crisis. 

In an extraordinary act of friendship and generosity, Megan invited fellow student and US resident Maddy to stay in her family home until the peak of the coronavirus crisis was over and she could once more travel home to Seattle.

Maddy and Megan met at the University of Exeter in South-West England, a beautiful corner of the UK that has experienced lower coronavirus cases than many regions but a place still significantly affected by travel restrictions and the pandemic. Maddy who is a third year BSc Biological Sciences student at Exeter says:

“I had planned to fly home at the end of March to revise for my exams over the Easter break. As the coronavirus situation worsened, I decided that I would move my flight home to the beginning of June and that I would stay in England while I assessed how the outbreak would play out. 

“Luckily, during my time at Exeter I have made an amazing friendship with Megan, a fellow coursemate. We’ve developed such a strong bond throughout our time at Exeter – I’d almost consider her as a sister at this point! Her family graciously opened up their home to me during this difficult time and Megan and I left Exeter mid-March to live at her home in Newbury with her mum Kathryn, dad Mark and her younger brother Ethan.

“During that time, the full lockdown was put in place and all direct flights from London to Seattle were cancelled indefinitely. I’ve been struggling with extreme sadness being trapped in the UK away from my family for the foreseeable and thinking about how my final year of university has been cut short, but thanks to the kindness of Megan and her family, I am in a safe and loving home.

“Exeter brought Megan into my life and provided us with amazing experiences that we have shared with one another. I am so grateful - they have supported me throughout this crazy time and I don't know what I would have done without them.”

Maddy’s family have also shown their appreciation with her Grandma Maureen posting on social media: “Grandad and I are very grateful and thankful that Megan and her family have taken you into their home, it will hopefully be over soon and we can all see each other again. Love you loads and stay safe.”

Megan and Maddy will graduate this year at an extraordinary and uncertain time for young people looking for work but they are optimistic that their studies at the University of Exeter will help them in the next stage of their career. They have also made a friendship and connection for life.

Megan says: “I have found a friend for life in Maddy during our time at university so I didn’t think twice about offering her a place to stay! Despite the awful situation, having Maddy join our family has made the lockdown much easier - and even enjoyable - and has brought us all closer together. We may live thousands of miles apart but it is reassuring to know that I will always have a friend in Maddy and we will always be there to support each other. Even though this crisis has made our future uncertain, we know that our education and friendship will see us through what is to come!”

The University of Exeter is a top 10 UK university based in Devon and Cornwall and for enquiries about studying a 3 years Bachelors or 1 year Masters in the UK you can email the Americas team at americas@exeter.ac.uk

Date: 20 May 2020

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