US Campuses Assist International Students Wary of Traveling Home

Aug 11, 2017 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

ABC News recently reported on a few universities in the US helping students from countries affected by the travel ban.

New York’s Adelphi University offered room, board, and other accommodations to students who were too afraid to travel home for the summer.

Why afraid?  Art student Usman Anwar of Pakistan said, “I had a feeling that if I would go back … I won’t be able to continue my studies here again.”

Instead of going home, Anwar was able to stay on campus for free and work at an on-campus marketing job—which helped defray his family’s unexpected expense.

Students from the six countries in the travel ban—Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen—aren’t the only ones affected. 

Perry Greene, Adelphi’s vice president for diversity and inclusion said, “Whether or not the fears that the students have are based in a concrete reality is almost not relevant.”  He added, “What’s relevant is the anxiety and fear that for our students was quite real.”

Other universities offered similar accommodations for their international student population. 

Ohio University offered housing and dining accommodations for 18 students from the countries in the travel ban.

Wisconsin’s Lawrence University hosted students from Pakistan and Jordan by offering campus jobs for at least two of them. 

American University’s interim vice president of campus life commented, “With the uncertainty that’s there, I think people have been thinking twice about some of these decisions and wanting to make sure that they don’t put themselves in situations that could complicate their lives.”

Based on a spring survey, American University found that many international students planned to stay for the summer, partly because of travel and visa concerns.

Learn more about studying in the US. 

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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