We are the international students of China and we have been banned from returning to China for about 10 months and unable to continue our education as a result. Under the current circumstances, many international students stayed in China when the epidemic broke out, whilst some returned to their home countries to visit their families for the winter holidays.
Many students cannot carry out experiments in the lab and undertake research at all as well as medics are unable to attend internships and practical classes. In addition to facing rent and tuition fees, we are also unable to study normally. We also have to take online classes at ungodly hours due to time zone differences and sometimes the quality of online classes is poor due to regional bans on software and internet issues. Many universities do not provide online courses and have forced students to suspend their studies. Students who do not have online courses are asked to suspend their studies, they can only resume their studies a year later (as of now), which means that they have to delay their graduation. Many study plans are disrupted and resumes will be blank for a year as a result of this uncertainty.
As far as our knowledge, only a handful of countries have not allowed foreign students to enter. In addition, China has opened almost all types of visas for the EU first back in August, except for student visas and tourist visas. Surely education is an essential part of life and holds more value than tourism.
Many times, international students try to keep an open-mind during a critical time like this, but although it is easy to say that, it is often easier said than done. The problems therefore also extend further to one’s social wellbeing and mental health being apart from loved ones and the constant insecurity of future plans. It is also particularly hard being surrounded by people around the world that would soon return back to their universities to continue with their education in the United Kingdom, United States of America, and Europe to name a few.
In fact, international students have been paying attention to China’s fight against the epidemic for more than nine months. Because we consider China as our motherland and our second home, it brings us great joy China is now able to control the epidemic effectively.
Moreover, even if student visas are able to be issued, many students will not enter the country all at once considering the finances and hurdles required to make such a trip to China under the current procedures. However, many are willing to bear all costs and cooperate with all the isolation measures of the China government after entering the country, take the nucleic acid report on the plane, and quarantine for 14 days, and even further if required by the city or university. To reduce the risk of importing foreign cases into China, it is also possible to enter China in batches.
Finally, we really would like to receive clear communication regarding China's plan for international students as we cannot wait indefinitely, at least so we are able to plan our lives. Please help by signing this petition so that more attention and support can be given to international students who are currently feeling abandoned and left unattended.