International student contemplates a scholar’s life in Edmonton, and back home, as university ramps up for the fall

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Q: Why did you decide to stay on campus for the fall term rather than return to your home in New Delhi, India?

A: My parents felt it wasn’t too safe to travel and I found a full-time summer job at Tim Hortons and so I was more comfortable staying here. Initially, I was supposed to have a co-op job for the summer but lost it because of COVID-19 and that happened to a lot of international students. I hope to do the co-op job in the winter term.

Q: What are some of the other reasons international students would choose to study in Edmonton?

A: They might have relatives or some sort of family to come and live with, or some of their classes or labs may be in-person. Also, there are so many places in Africa or India where there is no electricity most of the time, and if classes are online, they don’t have top-notch Wi-Fi services like we have in Canada.

Also because of the time-zone difference. For some classes, there are recordings, but final exams are still going to be on Mountain Standard Time, so they would have to be awake all night. For one of my friends in Japan, there is a 14-hour time zone difference.

Q: What would dissuade international students from coming to Edmonton to study this term?

A: With the whole COVID situation — having to be in quarantine, and then finding an apartment, buying furniture — they might feel it’s too risky for new students coming in. And if they come to Canada, there is a chance they could get COVID-19 while travelling. Also, travel expenses are a huge amount of money.

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