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Coronavirus and Its Affect on BMC’s International Population

Image by Brett Zeck

Blue Mountain College has closed its doors on campus classes for the end of the spring semester of 2020. Everyone has been affected, but how was BMC’s international population affected?

According to Nancy Grisham, the Coordinator for International Student Support, most of the international students were able to go home before the no-travel ban was put in place; however, some chose to remain on campus to finish out the school year. “Many of those who have returned home faced an immediate 14 day quarantine in their homes with officials checking in on them daily,” said Grisham.

The students that have gone home, like national students, are adjusting to the online coursework, and having to deal with things like time zone changes.

The students that remained at Blue Mountain are facing other challenges, like the inability to go home and see their families in this trying time for the world. Grisham is working with these students to try to get these students home, saying, “Several countries have emergency plans in place where they have brought in planes to fly their citizens back to their home countries.” However, these planes are only landing in certain cities, and if the BMC students do not live in said cities, they then have to find a way to get back to their hometown.

Of course, this has affected events such as graduation for everyone, but even if a ceremony is held at a later date, our graduating international students have to then either choose to miss their own graduation or come all the way back to the United States and Mississippi.

According to Ms. Grisham, the financial situation of the world as a whole has been an incredible concern for everyone, but especially the parents and family of the international students, as the exchange rates continue to change. Like in the United States, people are losing their jobs across the globe, and to top everything off, their parents and family are worried about the wellbeing of their children that they cannot get back under their roof.

Despite all these challenges, the students are, overall, doing well.

It is important to remember in times like these the verse John 16:33, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

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