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Online Learning and International Students

Many individuals who come to the United States come here purely for the purpose of education. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of students in the United States are international students. Whether these students are legal or illegal, it is the case that the United States has always been the place to go for education across the world.

COVID-19 stifled the education system, not just in the United States but across the world. In-person classes are a thing of the past, and their fate is quite uncertain. Most college students do not know if they will be taking classes in person this fall. Some schools like Harvard have decided to keep things fully online –while, sadly, keeping tuition the same.

The state of education in the U.S. is clearly dismal, and the end of such dreariness is unknown. Recently, President Trump has pushed to reopen schools despite the re-uptick in COVID cases. Whether or not such reopening is a good idea is to be decided by the health professionals. However, we’d like to focus on the president’s reopening ultimatum.

Essentially, upon Trump’s announcement to reopen schools, he gave this ultimatum: any school that stays online, its population of international students might have to leave the United States. This announcement was made by ICE on Monday. Nor is it possible that any such students be allowed to enter the United States, according to ICE.

This, of course, brings about many issues. For instance, many of the countries these students are from have travel restrictions in place for COVID-19. Where are these students going? They certainly will not be able to go back home. The level of uncertainty this has created amongst international students is immense.

The hope, for now, is that many schools will do what is known as hybrid courses, where many individuals who come to the United States come here purely for the purposes of education some of the classes are online, and some are in-person.

It has been speculated that CUNY might be doing this during the fall –as CUNY has one of the highest-density international student populations of all higher-education institutions. And it is looking this way. But, of the schools that are not, it is quite likely that they will be reluctant to comply with ICE. We will have more on this story as it develops.

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