International students may be forced to leave the country depending on college course offerings

Written by on July 9, 2020

International students may be forced to leave the country depending on college course offerings

By Laura Benshoff,  Keystone Crossroads

July 9, 2020

Pennsylvania colleges and universities enrolled more than 50,000 international students last year but now those same students may be forced to leave the country depending on their colleges’ course offerings.

Keystone Crossroads’ Laura Benshoff reports on the local impact of a new Trump Administration visa rule.

The Department of Homeland Security says it will not allow international students to stay in the United States if they are enrolled in all online classes…or if their school switches to go fully online mid-semester.

University of Pennsylvania PHD student Koyna Tomar says the sudden change to her visa category was very disorienting.

“I was half-asleep and I just couldn’t believe that it was real. I thought it was like a hoax of some kind. Like it’s not possible they would pass something like that.”

Now schools and students are scrambling to figure out what to do. Some universities had planned for “hybrid” courses, a combination of in-person and online courses, and could now alter plans to ensure international students stay compliant with the law.

Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said the rule is meant to encourage schools to open. Schools such as Penn say international students shouldn’t be treated differently than domestic students during the pandemic.

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