Now, everything becomes more difficult. Currently, Stanford plans to organize students who are on campus every semester to maintain social distance. First-year students will be on campus in the fall and summer – meaning Fang will study distance in one semester and must leave the US for that period.
Even that will be a challenge. There are several flights between the US and China, where international arrivals
must be quarantined for two weeks.
Now, Fang is considering whether he wants to pay around $ 60,000 a year to study distance from China. If so, he will not have all the unplanned interactions and conversations that usually come with school experience.
Live with uncertainty
For now, 29-year-old Chinese citizen Chen Na is not affected by changes on Monday.
At New York University (NYU), where Chen is halfway through a two-year master’s degree, his program will be a combination of online and offline when the fall semester begins.
But it is possible that NYU can return to online classes only, as happened in March.
“I can’t stop thinking about it,” he said. “I just feel rather helpless and vulnerable. I will try my best to stay here legally.”
If the course is only online, transfer to another university will not be an option – several other schools offer the Interactive Telecommunications Program that Chen is studying.
Instead, he must try to return to China, which would be expensive.
When Chen first heard the rules change, he felt insensitive because there were a number of other policies that made things more difficult for international students.
In May, for example, New York time
reported that the US plans to cancel the visas of thousands of Chinese postgraduate students and researchers who have ties to universities affiliated with the People’s Liberation Army. In April, Republican Senator Tom Cotton recommended
Chinese students at US universities should not be permitted to study science and technology. The Trump administration has also made a litany of changes US immigration system
, citing the coronavirus pandemic, which has resulted in restrictions on immigrant plots to come to the country.
“We don’t have much power here, and sometimes we make sacrifices for all these political games,” Chen said. “I’m really aware of my foreign status here, I know I’m a stranger. I don’t always see increasing hostility from others, but I feel like policy, it destroys us.”
Trouble going home
It may be more difficult for some students to go home than others.
Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said some students might not be able to go home at all.
“The bigger problem is that some of these countries have travel restrictions and they can’t go home, so what do they do?” he added. “It’s a puzzle for many students.”
India, the second largest source of international students in the US, has closed its borders for commercial flights, although it is still running repatriation flight
Maitri Parsana, who had just completed her third year of biology at the University of Buffalo in the state of New York, did not know how she would return to India if she was forced to leave.
The university said it would offer hybrid courses, but 22 years from the state of Gujarat, still did not know whether the specific class would be online or offline.
Parsana said there were no flights to India, but he hoped his government would arrange flights to get abandoned students home.
“I am really scared, I really don’t know what to do. I have been stressed about my school and now I have to stress about one more thing,” he said, adding that the US seemed to focus more on international students. rather than handling real problems, like a pandemic.
“We just feel like we were driven out of this country for no reason.”
It’s not just students who might be hurt by Monday’s decision. This could have an impact on the US economy too.
In 2018, students from China, India and South Korea themselves contributed more than that $ 25 billion
for the economy, according to the nonprofit International Education Institute.
If students are forced to leave the country, they may not be willing to continue to pay tuition to study remotely from a different time zone.
Nicholas Henderson, founder and director of Essai Education, a Delhi-based test preparation and counseling institute for Indian students who want to study in the US, said that the regulation could encourage universities to turn their policies into hybrid models, for example, to help permanent people.
“I think what Covid is showing is that universities are willing to work with students,” he said.
However, there is a risk that US policy may prevent future students from choosing to study in the US.
When Parsana first came to the United States, he planned to try to settle there. Now, he said he does not want to live in the US, and will encourage students who want to study abroad to consider other countries, such as Australia or Canada.
“I don’t know what (the US government) is trying to do because their economy will be ashes if they do this,” Parsana said. “If they continue to carry out this kind of regulation, not many people will come here for their education.”
If international students are discharged early, it is not only their education that will be affected. Students can lose job opportunities – often one of the reasons they choose to study in the US.
In the US, international students qualify for a scheme
which allows them to work in the country after they graduate.
A 24-year-old South Korean student said he felt “disappointed” that, due to changes in policy Monday, he might lose the scheme. CNN agreed not to use its real name because of privacy concerns.
He only has one semester for his title, and when he registers for his course, they are all offline. Now, they have changed to online courses, and it looks like he has to go home or move to another university for his final semester.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “I just renewed my house contract.”
If he goes home, he will not be eligible for a temporary employment scheme – and if he wants to work in the US, he will likely need to find a company to sponsor his visa.
“I’m very frustrated,” he said. “I just want to get a few chances at least to compete.”
Chen was faced with a similar situation. Before the pandemic, he planned to stay in the US and look for work after graduating in 2021. But now, Chen is considering whether the US is the best place to be, after all.
“I want to know if it’s really worth it to go through all this … rather than finding a country that respects me more,” he said.
Esha Mitra from CNN contributed to this story from New Delhi.