The pandemic made big changes happen: everyone had to wear masks, some countries had a curfew, restaurants closed, schools closed, social distancing, etc. But it also brought a lot of emotional changes.
Several international students have been stuck in the United States for a year now and most of them will be staying here a lot longer. Borders are closed to the US or the US won’t allow people from other countries to enter.
Brazil is one of the most impacted countries. The US won’t allow Brazilian students in the country unless they quarantine in a different country for two weeks.
Two volleyball players at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock got stuck in Brazil and couldn’t participate in the volleyball season.
“It was a very difficult time because I was very anxious to go to a new university and with COVID-19, everything became complicated,” Livia Kimura expressed.
Eager students try to find solutions to be able to get back in the country to finish their education, but the process isn’t easy especially when things don’t go as planned. Victoria Silva’s process was scarier because she almost got stuck in Chile without a passport.
“To be able to enter the USA and get my student visa, I had to do 15 quarantine days in Chile,” Silva said. “It was a very difficult process and a huge expense of money, I had a problem with the return of the passport after my visa was approved and ended up staying in Chile for 26 days.”
Leaving home to go live in a whole different country is difficult for the student but also for the family. The pandemic makes it more difficult for parents, knowing that their child is in a different country with a deadly virus going around but also not knowing when they are going to see them again.
Making life decisions like this as 20 plus year-olds is a big deal. After making decisions, people rethink the situation and wish they would’ve done something different. As Livia said, she would’ve stayed in the US if she knew COVID-19 was going to stay this long.
Silva and Kimura try to find different things that will help them get their minds off of that idea.
“I video call my family a lot and it helps being around people from my country that have been through the same.” Technology nowadays definitely helps.
Kimura has a tip for all international students in these bad situations.
“Be patient, some things we are not able to control,” Kimura said. “It is a stressful and complicated process, but in the end, it will all work out. Stay positive, I think this is the best tip to face this moment. Things will get better little by little, so don’t stress yourself trying to control what doesn’t depend on you.”
Internationals just need to keep in mind that everything will pass and everything will turn back to normal. Everyone will be able to achieve their goals but just have a lot of patience and faith.