How to keep yourself busy and entertained during quarantine

If you're arriving in the UK from a country on the UK government's "red" or "amber" list, you will need to quarantine upon arrival for 10 days. Chevening programme officers have come up with some ideas to help you pass the time effectively and enjoyably, keeping boredom levels to a minimum!

Things to watch

Ted Talks on YouTube: there are lots of career focused ones that might be useful! (Ellie)

There are lots of free courses on the Coursera website which you can filter by subject and language (Ellie)

Create an account with BBC iPlayer. Prepare yourself for life in the UK by watching some classic British TV shows (you will need to buy a television license, but this lasts for a whole year)!


Things to read

Contact your university about obtaining a reading list and access to their online resources to begin your studies. (Dan)

Access audiobooks for free through the websites below. (Ellie)

  • Librivox
  • Lit2Go
  • Loyal Books
  • Mind Webs
  • Open Culture
  • Libby by Overdrive
  • Podiobooks
  • Project Gutenberg
  • Spotify
  • Storynory
  • SYNC
  • Learn Out Loud
  • Free Classic Audiobooks
  • Digital Book


Creative things to do

Volunteer in people-powered research with Zooniverse. From counting penguins to charting planets, Zooniverse enables everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities and more. (Dan)

Bring a pencil and pad and start sketching! (Ellie)

Find out what’s on in your university town (events, clubs, major attractions, museums) and write a list of all the things you want to see and do when quarantine is over. (Ellie)


Practical things you can do at the start of your year in the UK

Sign up to your local GP surgery. (Dan)


Wellbeing ideas

Download some wellbeing apps. There are plenty which allow you to access at least some content for free such as Calm, which offers meditations plus sleep stories, breathing exercises, stretches and more. It’s a great way to help you calm down and reduce anxiety, whether you have a few minutes or a lot longer. The NHS have listed some wellbeing apps here. (Lizzie)

Check in with family and friends and people you haven’t been in touch with for a while – use your quarantine time to nurture your relationships while you have the time, these things always slip to the wayside when we have other distractions! (Ellie)


Exercise and keeping fit

Watch and practice yoga with online instructor Adriene through her free online videos.

Walk at home with Lesley Sansone’s walking videos – excellent for getting your step count up.

All you need for Joe Wicks’s free online exercise videos are some trainers and your own bodyweight. (Susie)



Start building your networking by attending our scholar drop-in sessions happening in September. (Dan)

Connect with fellow Cheveners on the Chevening Class of 2021 Facebook group. You can start to form connections even before you reach campus! (Ellie)