Many international students remain in the U.S. during long breaks

The Covid pandemic has made returning home during long breaks a challenge for international students. Currently, the Dana Hall community includes 64 international boarding students from countries all over the world.

Because of the Covid quarantine policies, many international students have not been able to return to their home country during long breaks such as Winter Break and Thanksgiving. According to Donna Corrigan, Dean of Residential Life and International Student Advisor, 31 of the international students were able to return to their home country this year, while 33 international students stayed in the country, a change from usual years. During this year’s winter break,13 of the international students chose to stay with host families, 12 stayed in hotels with guardians, and eight students’ families flew to the United States to stay with them. 

Among these international students, none of the Chinese students were able to return to their home country due to the “14+7+7” policy (14 days centralized quarantine, seven days home quarantine, and seven days self-health screening), which makes the quarantine time longer than the time of long breaks. According to Nina Wang ‘24, a Chinese international student, her family anticipated this situation at the start of the year, so her mom came here at the start of the school year and rented a place near the school to make sure she had a place to stay. 

International students who have not been able to go home have been in the US for almost six month, and many hope to return soon. “If I have the opportunity, definitely I would want to go back to china, because I really really enjoy Chinese food and I really really want to go back to eat and enjoy,” said Nina.

However, the situation will remain the same for the upcoming spring break, as the quarantine policies have not changed, and many international students, such as Nina, have planned to remain in the US during spring break as well. Ms. Corrigan noted, “Covid is rapidly changing, and no one knows for sure how the pandemic is going to turn out.”

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