School offers remote option for international students this December

David Leung, Campus Reporter

With the fall term nearing its end, everyone is now thinking about Thanksgiving break. However, that poses a question for international students with current quarantine policies in their home countries, many of which are requiring a number of weeks of isolation before students can return to their own homes. Fortunately, international students now have the option not only to return to their own countries, but also stay home until after winter break.

With some places such as Hong Kong requiring a three-week quarantine, the school had been struggling on how to let international students return home. “It makes no sense to send a kid home for thanksgiving, the whole period of which they will be in quarantine, have them come back to Kent, and then send them home for christmas vacation, the whole period of which they will be quarantined, and of course jetlag on top of that,” said Dr. MacNeil, Academic Dean. A lot of families were going to make the decision to have their children stay somewhere domestically and not travel home at all, said Dr. MacNeil, and there are many that have already made that same decision on other holidays, and have therefore not been home for long periods of time.The school therefore decided to offer a remote option for international students only during the period when classes are in session in December.  Interestingly, only a few dozen international students have decided to return home, with the rest finding a place to stay domestically.

With the offer for students to return home comes the other question about school in between Thanksgiving and Christmas break, the only option being online school with zoom again. With the resumption of online classes, teachers will be required to update PowerSchool pages and to share recordings of classes for those students who can’t attend class synchronously. It is certainly not expected of the international students to always attend class synchronously, Dr. MacNeil mentioned: “We hope students will feel comfortable if they are not participating synchronously.“

Even with the chance to return home for a longer period of time, there are still concerns about online classes as well as covid rules and restrictions. Lindsey Cho ‘23, who is going back home in Korea, said that it would be great to see friends and family again, but is concerned about online school being harder for her to participate in classes, especially history and English, which requires quite a bit of participation. CY Cheng ‘24, said something similar, saying that it was a good opportunity to return home after months away from home halfway across the world.