Courtesy photo from Visakan Ganeson
In light of the COVID-19 crisis, which leads to many insecurities and confusion among international students in Washington, EvCC International Education Department has created a $45,000 grant to support international students.
Understanding the very unique fears, challenges and concerns of those students during this unprecedented time, EvCC has decided to give away $45,000 from the EvCC foundation to 60 students in the form of financial assistance awards, which are $750 each, for the next three quarters, beginning with Spring 2020.
To international students who are away from home during this pandemic, the chaos caused by the COVID-19 crisis has left them insecure about having adequate housing or access to food and other essentials. Nhat Vo, an international student from Vietnam says, “Many of my international friends have missed their sources of income because of this pandemic, I feel lucky that I still have income from my part-time job to pay for my living expenses.”
Visakan Ganeson, Associate Vice-President of the International Education Department, says that the reason behind the decision to create this grant is because The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which is also known as the CARES Act, does not help international students when they are also going through tough situations caused by this crisis as much as the domestic students are. “This is a world crisis, so everyone is affected the same way,” says Ganerson.
International students hoping to receive the financial assistance awards needed to apply by May 21. Staff members of the International Education Office then went through an assessment to pick out 20 applicants to receive the financial assistance each quarter.
Vo, who is one of the recipients of the grant this Spring quarter, says that the award means so much to him, and the money is a big help during this unprecedented time. “I use the money to pay for my food, rent, as well as buying some textbooks for my summer quarter classes,” Vo says.
According to Ganeson, the college is doing its best to accommodate the special needs of its international students during this pandemic, but the grant cannot be the one solution to all the problems they are going through. “I hope the students will be able to find a long-term solution and the governments of their home countries will help them the same way as the U.S government is helping American people.”
Indeed, the grant cannot make all the insecurities and fears in those foreign students go away, but to some extent, it reminds the students that even though they don’t have a local family, they are not alone in this pandemic. Vo expresses his excitement about the grant, “I was so touched the moment I received the email about the grant, I am just so happy because it shows that during this challenging time, they still care for people like us.”