International Students Unable to Return Home Since March

Boarding a plane in Argentina. Photo by Nicolas Ni.

Since March, the increase cases of COVID-19 have led to the closure of schools, the inability of companies to operate normally, and governments’ restrictions on travel.

In March, when schools in Ontario closed, many international students originally wanting to return to their home countries at some point between March and the end of the summer holiday were not able to do so. Due to travel and immigration restrictions as well as cancelled airline tickets, many international students have had to stay in Canada the entire time.

Joseph J. is a grade 10 student at WCI. In March of this year, the school closures forced him to be isolated at home, and he could not go to school.
He planned to return to China this summer with his family. However, because of the pandemic, his plan for this year has changed when his flight was cancelled.

This change to his plans made him very disappointed and upset. At home in Waterloo with his aunt and uncle, they went fishing, and played basketball to pass their time. He chose to pass the time by studying, playing games, and watching TV series. They went fishing, and played basketball to pass their time.

Joseph said, “I was unable to return to China this time due to the lockdown of the pandemic. I hope that this pandemic will end soon so that I can return to my country to reunite with my family.”

Xiang Z is an international student in grade 12 student at WCI. He planned to return to China after renewing his study visa in April this year. However, he waited for three months, but his student visa was not issued in that time, and he started to panic because if the renewal failed, it would take a long time to apply again.

This delay caused him to not be able to return home.

In August, Xiang’s student visa was finally approved. But a that time, there was only less than one month left before the start of school in September, which left him with no time to return to China.

Xiang works on his computer at home in Waterloo. Photo by Nicolas Ni.

Xiang said, “Because China now requires everyone who enters from outside the country to isolate themselves for 14 days in hotels. Upon returning to Canada, I would have also had to self isolate for another 14 days. Therefore, I decided to stay in Canada. “

He now spends his time reading books and playing games with his friends.

Due to the pandemic, restrictions on entry and exit at the borders have caused the cancellation of airline tickets, which forced international students to be unable to return to their home countries as planned, having to stay in Canada away from family and friends back home.