International Student's Situation under the Pandemic | Teen Ink

International Student's Situation under the Pandemic

November 5, 2022
By Anonymous

Several months ago, Sarah Mervosh, a New York Times journalist, illustrated the severe dilemma of most American students since 2020 in her Times article "Students Are Learning Well Again". She indicated that many students are now struggling to study as effectively as they were before the epidemic. However, when she stated that “Low-income students... entered the pandemic behind their more advantaged…Asian...", I strongly dissented her by her wording. Remembering my personal experience as student from Mainland China now enrolled in a US school, I find the reference to Asians naturally being better off than other US students off-putting and unfair.

Before the pandemic, I was at home in China and fully ready to study in an American school. Everything was completed, and I was almost in front of the school gates, until, that is,, the epidemic messed up everything. Flights and visas disappeared, and I and many others struggled to adapt to the suddenly changing the study pattern. I had to stay in China and wait for 2 years before, and believe me, other students don’t want to experience that pain and prolonged dissapointment. I wasn’t like I was guaranteed a spot in a high school as a resident; far from it. Just getting to school took years, and getting home to family over a year at times.

Admittedly, some wealthy Asian and Asian-American students surely come do compete with local students. However, while the American students are focused on catching up on studying, as Mervosh correctly points out, many Asian students like me who went  through untold hardships to be admitted to American schools are additionally facing racial stereotypes made worse by pandemic fears, as well as significant increases in actual anti-Asian hate-crimes  towards students and including elderly and frail citizens,  so for we children safety is a problem and we are often without family nearby to help protect us. Therefore, the author wording ought to avoid rather than strengthen the stereotype of Asians, since the sentiments they engender are not victimless. 

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