Baker University has many international students. Most of them go to America to study and play sports. I am an international student from the Netherlands, studying at Baker University for a bachelor’s degree in international studies. On campus I was part of the athletic team and a member of the Zeta C Brotherhood. The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has had a major impact on my college experience in the United States.
I went home last summer. As I return to the United States, it is clear that the United States does not allow non-residents to travel by air. Countries banned include the Schengen area, China, Iran and Brazil. Not knowing if I could return to the United States and when I would see my friends again was very stressful. I don’t want to get all my lessons online from home.
I remember there was a lot of anger among the students Summer results against travel restrictions for international students. I was glad to see a lot of support from American students Opens up boundaries for international students. As an international student, it is important that I stay on campus. I built a life here in Baldwin and found a home away from home as part of the Zeta C fraternity.
I am lucky that students from the Netherlands and other countries will return in mid-July. You’re back to start training overseas for the season. We were relieved to be back in the United States
Some international students are unfortunate. Many of them were unable to return to the United States to continue their education. They are currently taking online classes from home to stay on track.
Participating in online classes from home is a challenge, as most students enjoyed in the spring semester of 2020. Being motivated is hard and internet connections are not static. Your environment is very distracting and differences in time zones cause students to develop unusual practices. It was weird to take exams or give presentations later in the evening.
I kept in touch with my friends through text messages and fasttime / video chats. I was happy to spend more time with my family in the summer and also met some Dutch friends of mine. But after a while I missed my life at Baker. I wanted to go back. So when I heard that there were travel restrictions, I felt a mixture of sadness and frustration. I was frustrated that international students had to attend classes in person, if granted, otherwise the United States could end their student visa. Despite the withdrawal of this requirement, I was cautious in all precautionary measures when I returned to the United States
International students have the disadvantage of not being able to go home on weekends or anytime. They are limited to visiting during the summer and winter holidays, except that the only contact they have with their family is by default. COVID-19 imposed restrictions on international travel, forcing students to choose between visiting their families or staying in the United States. It is dangerous to see family because you are not guaranteed to return to the United States.
I stayed in the US for the winter holidays, but it was hard to spend Christmas with my family. My family and I had a hard time breaking up. Even though I came home with my girlfriend and celebrated Christmas with them, it wasn’t like that. I really miss my family who saw her whole family get together, share food and have fun.
In addition to the emotional hardships, the period of isolation can also cause financial challenges for international students. Most international students rely heavily on their scholarships to pay Baker. Not every international student can go to work for long periods of time if placed in isolation.
During the fall semester on campus, I was in close contact with a person with COVID-19. The university told me to go for isolation, but all the isolated rooms on campus were full. I got an isolated space off campus. Staying at The Lodge was financially difficult.
Precautions for COVID-19 in the United States are easier than in many European countries. When states have a face-off order, there are fewer restrictions. Restaurants, hairdressers and so-called “non-essential businesses” remained open.
In Europe, many countries have strict policies that control much of public life. Only places that provide the essential necessities of life are open to business. The protocols are very strict, especially during the rising tide of COVID-19 cases.
In addition to these limitations, there are longer closures. For example, the Netherlands has been locked up since December. My friends and family have been stuck at home since December and have done nothing for them. To my friends at home, their lecture has been completely online since March 2020.
I consider myself lucky that there are no closures to the US or Kansas. I attended classes in person, was able to eat out and do other activities. Since most sports in the Netherlands are subject to restrictions, even training on the track seems a privilege. I feel bad for my family and friends who are stuck at home.
The United States is vaccinating its citizens much faster than at home. I have already received the first dose of the Pfizer Covit-19 vaccine. My friends and family are jealous that I was vaccinated so long before I was vaccinated.
Travel restrictions are currently in effect and I do not know if I will be able to go home to see my family and friends in the future. I hope this vaccine will allow you to go home for the summer holidays and return to the United States without any problems.