CEDARVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – About 1.8% of Cedarville University’s population is made up of international students. Several of these students come from regions and countries currently feeling the effects of the global coronavirus outbreak.
It’s caused some distress and worry for a few of these students, but staff members with International Student Services are stepping up to offer a listening ear and help during this time.
Brenda Reid, coordinator of International Student Services, says she has been monitoring the coronavirus situation abroad. While it seems cases are starting to die down in some countries and spread to others, the effects of the respiratory illness could last through the summer time.
This is of concern to students who may not be able to return to their home country when school closes for the semester.
“A big concern for them is if they cannot go home for the Summer, where are they going to go? If they have to go somewhere and support themselves, they’re not allowed to work here in the states unless it’s connected with their course of study,” said Reid.
Reid explained that she is working on creating more on-campus job opportunities for these students as on-campus positions are permitted.
As for where the students will stay, Reid is hopeful that the community will open its doors to those in need of a place to stay.
“It’s such a small community and there are so many people here that live here that are connected with the university…people are willing to help others in need and really be welcoming,” said Reid.
However, those are not the only challenges students are facing. Back in their home country, many have family members who cannot work due to quarantine rules to contain the outbreak. This is causing concern about how students will be able to afford tuition next semester.
For those who are graduating, they are also worried about whether or not their family will be able to join them for graduation if quarantine regulations are still in effect later on in the year.
“One of our seniors whose family lives in China, they’ve already informed her that they will likely not be able to come to her graduation,” said Reid.
Reid also shares that there is a Cedarville student currently studying abroad in an area affected by the coronavirus. For privacy, his location is being kept confidential.
“He is in his last semester of his Doctor of Pharmacy degree. So there’s a lot at stake. He runs the risk of possibly not getting back in time for graduation,” explained Reid.
Reid said that she is working with the student to continue monitoring the CDC and WHO informational sites to determine the best time for him to possibly return to the states and complete his program.