LSUA is home to about 60 international students, 10 of which are still on campus. With the current pandemic, they are still on campus for one of two reasons. Either they feel safer here, or they can not travel to their perspective homes.
“They may have some travel restrictions trying to get home. Whatever the reason is, we’re just happy that they can eb here and that they feel safe and comfortable.”
Safe and comfortable. Those are key words needed in time of uncertainty. For international students such as Andrez, he says the decision to go home was out of his hands.
“Pretty much, I didn’t have a choice but to stay. Reason being that currently my country’s borders are closed but also I am going to graduate at the end of the semester so I’m going to be look to maybe work here.”
Andrez’s family is still at home safe in Dominica but he does have a sister further south in New Orleans. As for the relationship between the students and faculty, it’s grown more over the weeks due to more communication.
“We have tried to be more creative and as an innovative as possible with our support and with our communication. We do more texting, more Zoom sessions and a lot more emails as well.”
“We get emails from the chancellor and the vice-chancellor to see how we’re doing. Especially us staying on campus. They find out how we’re doing and what we need, things like that. As an international student, there’s also the International Student Association and they keep in contact with us students to make sure we have everything that we need.”
Within reach, without limits is how the LSUA family is navigating the current situation. Although this is a learning experience from both sides, everyone is being strong for each other.
“This has really brought us closer because there is no template, no rule book, no theory on how to go through something like this but we’ve come together and we’ve brainstormed and we’ve always put students first.”
“You can say that we’re a little bit closer because the focus is kind of on us now and especially being international and staying here away from your family. So together, we have to be stronger for each other as an international group and as an international family.”