The US opens its doors to foreign students again
The health crisis caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic tremendously affected the education sector in the US. Local colleges and universities had to adopt strategies to transform the teaching method and be able to teach classes virtually while the threat to public health diminished.
Adding to that, the Trump administration, in an attempt to protect the American population and local resources, closed the borders and banned the entry of foreigners for a considerable period of time. Due to this restriction, thousands of foreign students have not been able to enter the US to complete their higher education.
However, the US embassies and consulates around the world are encouraging international students to schedule their appointments to apply for their visas. This is a project of the International Education Week, which took place between November 16 and 20, 2020.
It is important to clarify that the Department of State (DOS) is also involved in this project and stated that student visas are a “High Priority” in embassies and consulates around the world.
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Foreign students have not been able to apply for their visas
Despite the fact that the US’ consulates and embassies are inviting foreign students to apply, they are having inconveniences requesting their visas due to lack of appointments, personnel, protocols, inter alia.
Dozens of international students have reported these problems during International Education Week. They state that their future is uncertain due to Trump’s travel ban and that his government should not offer immigration alternatives if it does not have enough resources to assist international students.
They also state that it is incongruous and unnecessary to incentivize international education if there are no appointments or personnel available at embassies and consulates. In fact, they assure that some of these facilities are still closed due to the sanitary emergency and there is no set reopening date, which generates even more uncertainty and mistrust.
Adding to that, there are international students who have had to attend purely virtual classes because they left the US before the massive outbreak of Coronavirus, but some institutions are already resuming a portion of face-to-face classes, which could affect their grades and even threaten their enrollment.
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