International students face tough journey back to UK

‘A lot’ of international students will face difficulties getting back to Sheffield when teaching resumes, staff from the international student’ office has said.

Face-to-face teaching at The University of Sheffield has already started for some students with others waiting to find out when they will be back in the classroom

Luri Montenegro, International Students Officer at the university, said: “It’s a hard time for international students to get back to the UK now.
“Both the airfare and the cost of their self-isolation in the quarantine hotel are very high.”

Xiang Li, 19, a first-year student at the University of Sheffield has finally returned to the UK after her flight was cancelled three times.

Ms Li said: “Because of the changing policies, I have to worry about the cancellations even if I have bought a ticket.

“And I am a bit worried about the possible risks encountered during the connecting flight.”

With the spread of the newly discovered COVID-19 virus mutation, flights to and from China and the UK are gradually being reduced and entry into the UK is becoming increasingly difficult. Also the expiring student visa also put her under a lot of pressure.

She said: “I really wanted to get back to Sheffield as soon as possible at that time. Another reason is that our apartment won’t allow us to cancel the previously agreed housing contract.

“But I have already paid over £10,000 in rent.”

She was vaccinated against COVID-19 in China to minimise the risk of infection and to avoid causing problems for others.

She said: “Although I’m not sure if it can prevent 100% of the coronavirus that has mutated.

“But it is a responsible choice for both me and others, as it is the most effective way to prevent the coronavirus apart from wearing a mask and washing hands.”

The continuous online classes and the eight-hour time difference also had a negative impact on her. She said: “The constant instability of the internet makes me feel a bit irritable.

“And the time difference has also forced me to make some adjustments to my previously healthy routine.”

However, due to the different lockdown policies in China and the UK, she is free to spend her extracurricular activity and recreational time outside.

She said: “I hope the UK can soon end the restrictions, and we can have a normal university life as soon as possible.”

Written by Aolin Cheng

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