The ongoing coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected a wide range of activities across the globe, including healthcare, education, and transportation. Most of the government agencies have been keen to institute evidence-based measures to minimize the spread of this infectious disease. Universities across the United States had to cancel physical classes. This decision forced students to go home in an effort to protect their health and that of staff members. The situation has been worse for most of the international learners in the country. Many international students are unable to achieve their academic goals from the launched remote classes due to the absence of adequate financial resources, visa issues, poor Internet access, and language barriers due to COVID-19. The relevant stakeholders should consider additional financial aid programs, visa extension, and personalized educational sessions to address the current predicament.
The recorded COVID-19 incident has compelled institutions of higher learning in the United States to offer remote classes to their students. This option has emerged due to the nature of this disease and the desire to reduce infections. Unfortunately, this model has presented numerous challenges to both the targeted learners and the colleges (Dhawan 17). For instance, most of the institutions lack adequate resources and strategies to meet the demands of the targeted individuals. Some of the beneficiaries were engaging in different forms of academic dishonesty, thereby making the entire process questionable and incapable of delivering desirable results.
The existing infrastructure systems cannot meet the demands of most of these individuals. The professionals providing online content still lack the relevant competencies that can guide them to deliver positive results. Additionally, some of the students are unable to access stable Internet connections. These issues explain why most of the initiatives put in place are incapable of delivering the intended knowledge and theories to the learners (Nulkar 75). These efforts have emerged at a time when all stakeholders are required to cooperate and minimize infections.
The question of international students studying in the United States has emerged in most of the discussions focusing on the ongoing pandemic. Bilecen indicates that such learners constitute around 5 percent of the total enrolment in most of the leading universities across the country (264). These individuals encounter additional challenges due to the current outbreak. First, the implemented travel restrictions have compelled such people to stay in the United States. Those who depend on their relatives and friends back home to send financial resources have been affected the most (Dhawan 16). Second, the visas of some of these students might expire within the stipulated period. The outcome is that such individuals will be compelled to have their periods of stay extended.
Third, the introduced online classes pose a new challenge to them since they lack adequate financial resources to purchase stable Internet and pursue their goals. Most of these students might chose to avoid such sessions altogether and focus on the best ways to protect themselves against this disease. Fourth, most of these individuals are usually under sponsorship programs (Nulkar 75). They receive limited support that is only intended to meet their needs for the period they are in the United States. In most of the cases, such arrangements will not have provisions for remote classes and learning sessions.
These challenges are linked to other issues that different stakeholders need to take seriously. For example, most of the learning institutions charge these foreign students around 2.5 times the fees local residents pay (Dhawan 21). This scenario means that the cost for being involved in such remote classes will be extremely high for international learners. Some might be unable to receive additional support and guidance that can take them closer to their educational goals. Another outstanding concern is that most of the learning institutions in this country do not provide adequate financial aid to these key beneficiaries. On the other hand, domestic learners will have increased chances of receiving educational financial support.
The complexity of these problems explains how most of the foreign students will find it to achieve their goals in the COVID-19 America. The country lacks proper guidelines and laws that can take most of the individuals closer to their goals. Majority of them are unable to link up with their teachers or instructors and benefit from the available remote classes (Dhawan 22). This reality is associated with the financial problems affecting the individuals. Without new changes, most of these students will be unable to achieve their goals.
Additionally, many international students might find it hard to acquire the offered content since English is a second language. The designed remote classes might fail to consider these critical needs and ensure that the intended beneficiaries acquire the targeted instructions. Some of the learning institutions do not have proper strategies or programs to ensure that English as second language (ESL) are in a position to record improved educational performance (Ali 18). Such initiatives also lack proper strategies for addressing challenges that might arise when such learners enrol for remorse classes. While these complexities have become a reality, some stakeholders still believe that such learners do not have to be worried.
The decision to introduce remorse classes due to the ongoing pandemic is commendable since it will allow more learners to achieve their educational goals. The involved professionals have considered all the options to maximize the experiences of the learners and ensure that they do not spend more time in school. Unfortunately, these measures have failed to consider the plight of most of the international students in the country (Dhawan 20). Majority of them are from poor countries and lack adequate resources to meet their demands. Such courses require every learner to have a stable Internet connection and be in a position to grasp the intended content.
These challenges explain why the relevant stakeholders should consider the most appropriate solutions and take most of the learners closer to their goals. First, the government should consider the power of bailouts targeting foreign students. Such an initiative can engage learning institutions since they can provide the required financial support to their learners depending on the nature of their needs. Such an approach will ensure that most of the individuals are able to afford Internet, purchase handheld devices, and create adequate time for engaging in such class activities (Ali 19). Such colleges should also complete timely online investigations to learn more about the beneficiaries’ experiences, identify existing gaps, and consider new ways to change the situation.
The inclusion of state lawmakers in this issue will support the provision of additional support systems to allow more campuses to offer timely instructions and content to learners. The primary focus should be on troubled foreign students who might be encountering a wide range of challenges. These initiatives will allow these individuals to remain involved, offer their suggestions, and consider new ways of solving the experienced problems (Bilecen 265). The government can consider the living conditions of learners in other countries and borrow some of the best practices to transform the situation and take them closer to their goals.
The second solution that colleges need to consider is to the need to identify additional sources of funds to meet the needs of these international students. Within the past few months, new programs have emerged whereby some of the learners are allowed to visit their campuses while maintaining the relevant COVID-19 protocols and requirements, such as social distancing and sanitization (Sahu e7541). These new efforts are capable of supporting the demands of most of the international learners who might be unable to access timely and stable Internet connections. Most of these institutions should focus mainly on the challenges most of these learners go through and offer the required support.
Another possible solution entails the provision of personalized online content to learners depending on their language skills and educational needs. This strategy should be guided by the background of the student, his or her past academic background, and race. The consideration of such aspects will support the formulation of a superior model that can deliver the best content online. The instructors will have to remain more relaxed and consider additional ways to help the learners (Ali 19). They can also encourage them to provide additional insights for addressing the recorded problems and eventually support their needs. Such an approach will transform the current situation and make it possible for the learners to achieve their maximum potential.
Finally, the American government can monitor the visa issues and concerns arising from this pandemic. The relevant decision-makers can analyze the challenges most of these international students have to go through and extend their visas accordingly (Sahu e7541). This move will allow them to remain in the country until the situation normalizes. This decision will allow the individuals to enrol for such courses and eventually achieve their academic goals.
The government’s failure to consider these suggestions means that most of the international students will be unable to enrol or be involved in such online classes. Some of the learners might develop numerous challenges, such as depression and disinterestedness. Additional support will be essential to empower most of the learners who lack adequate support from their relatives and family members (Hope 3). The most appropriate strategy, therefore, should be to combine most of these solutions, and allow different stakeholders to be part of the process. Such measures will transform the experiences of these learners and encourage them to be involved in the developed online classes.
The above argumentative paper has explained some of the challenges many international students are currently experiencing in the United States due to COVID-19. The notable ones include lack financial resources, visa expiry issues, poor Internet access, and language problems. The government and other key stakeholders can introduce financial aid programs, extend their visas, and support the delivery of personalized educational sessions to address the current predicament. These efforts will ensure that most of these international students are able to achieve their academic goals.
Ali, Wahab. “Online and Remote Learning in Higher Education Institutes: A necessity in Light of COVID-19 Pandemic.” Higher Education Studies, vol. 10, no. 3, 2020, pp. 16-25.
Bilecen, Başak. “Commentary: COVID-19 Pandemic and Higher Education: International Mobility and Students’ Social Protection.” International Migration, vol. 58, no. 4, 2020, pp. 263-266.
Dhawan, Shivangi. “Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis.” Journal of Educational Technology Systems, vol. 49, no. 1, 2020, pp. 5-22.
Hope, Joan. “Be Aware of How COVID-19 Could Impact International Students.” The Successful Registrar, vol. 20, no. 3, 2020, pp. 1-8.
Nulkar, Avnee.” Lessons from COVID-19: The Perspective of an International Medical Student Back in the United States.” International Journal of Medical Students, vol. 8, no. 1, 2020, pp. 75-76.
Sahu, Pradeep. “Closure of Universities Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): Impact on Education and Mental Health of Students and Academic Staff.” Cureus, vol. 12, no. 4, 2020, p. e7541.