Two Int’l Unis in China Might Allow Stranded International Students to Return Next Semester

International students who remain stuck abroad due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions might be able to return to two international Chinese universities, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) and New York University (NYU) Shanghai, next semester.

Both universities have sent emails to their students, advising the latter to start preparing for a return to campus in March next year; however, the Chinese government has not officially announced when will international students be permitted to return to China.

In its email, DKU called on students to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before preparing their visa applications, reports.

“The DKU leadership understands that China is now working on a detailed plan to facilitate international students’ safe entry to the Chinese mainland. Early indications suggest that this procedure, once finalised, will allow students to enter gradually in groups over time to ensure suitable and sufficient quarantine measures,” the email which was posted on Twitter by a student reporter from Duke University’s student newspaper, reads.

At the same time, the dean of students at NYU Shanghai, David Pe, sent an email to international students saying that the latter should coordinate with their academic advisers over the upcoming months to complete registration for classes, get vaccinated for COVID-19 as well as book flights to China.

According to the email, students will be required to undergo quarantine for 21 days before the end of January.

International students have been unable to travel to China for more than 20 months due to travel ban that the country imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, students have constantly asked the Chinese government to allow them to return to their universities in China. They have even united under hashtags #takeusbacktoChina or #justiceforinternationalstudents, also emphsazing that they want their belongings back, which remain at dormitories in China, including important documents, electronics, and other valuables.

“I began my studies in September 2019. I have lacked exposure to practical content that is much needed in my major to provide maximum safety for aircraft passengers when designing planes and the engineering that surrounds it,” an Aeronautical Engineering student from Malawi, East Africa, told Erudera College News.

He pointed out that he had also experienced anxiety and depression for not being allowed to continue studies at his Chinese university for 20 months.

During an online interview with the media, the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang said that if the Chinese government decides to allow international students to enter China, Thai students will be among the first to return to the country when borders reopen.

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