Locked Down Far From Home

EvCC’s international students discuss their struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.


Adrianna Vison-Montgomery

Empty EvCC campus on Apr. 27, 2020. In-person classes have been suspended since Mar. 5, 2020 to follow social distancing protocol because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the COVID-19 breakouts are affecting everyone around the world, we look at how it’s affecting students at EvCC. Not only does this pandemic effect domestic students at EvCC, but also international students who have had to go back to their countries and those who have had trouble doing so. 

While a lot of international students have gone back home, due to the global pandemic many international students have not had the chance to get back home to their families. 

Courtesy photo from Nhat Vo
Nhat Vo, an international student from Vietnam, studying business at EvCC.

Nhat Vo, an international student from Vietnam, talks about his struggles being stuck in Everett and not being able to go back to his family.  “The biggest challenge is I was so stressed about going back to Vietnam and thinking about who will take care of me if I am sick since I’m here by myself.” 

“At first, I planned to stay here in the U.S because I thought the U.S could handle the situation better than Vietnam. As you can see, the situation of COVID 19 in America is really bad now and my mom wants me to go back, so I will go back to Vietnam soon.”

“I actually booked the flight tickets and planned to go back on April, 9th, but the airlines just kept canceling flights. I’ve rebooked my tickets 4 times, and hopefully that I can go back home safely on May 1st.” said Vo. 

Courtesy photo from Jiho Kim
Jiho Kim, EvCC alumni Korean international student, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Western University. And plans to get her masters in 2022 at a university of her choice.

International students have also expressed their feelings on how hard taking online classes can be. Jiho Kim, an EvCC alumni international student from Korea, says that taking online classes can be hard in general and not just at EvCC. “I’ve never liked online classes, not just at EvCC. [Because] it is hard for me to work by myself without anyone forcing me to do it,” Kim explains.

“Although I’ve taken online classes before, this is my first time taking them 100% online and it’s hard. I get distracted easily and because English is not my first language, whenever I lose attention I completely silence the instructor and miss part of the lecture; it has been happening more frequently now that I’m not physically in the classroom,” explains Raquel Parada Giacomán, an international student from El Salvador.

Courtesy photo from Raquel Parada Giacomán
Raquel Parada Giacomán, an international student from El Salvador.

Giacomán expresses her gratitude that there are many resources being provided by EvCC such as, counseling, tutoring, and online Conversation Pal. 

But Vo expresses the financial burden of taking online classes; “As an international student, I have to pay a lot more [for online classes], I don’t want to spend $4000 per quarter to take online classes.”