佛罗里达理工学院在人员接触密切的地方安装了有机玻璃隔板，提高防病安全。(© Florida Institute of Technology)
非营利的国际教育协会（Institute of International Education）的数字显示，美国高校注册国际学生人数超过100万。据美国商务部统计，外国留学生2019年给美国经济带来收入460多亿美元。国际学生是美国高校生活的组成部分，他们像美国学生一样求学心切。加州大学圣迭戈分校（University of California San Diego）国际学生项目主管达尔西·多拉多（Dulce Dorado）说，国际学生“给这个国家的知识和文化活力带来巨大贡献”。
德州大学（University of Texas）校长詹姆斯·米利肯（James Milliken）最近向留学生发布的一份声明表达了与多拉多以及美国学术界其他领导人相同的观点，强调学校对学生的学业和未来专业发展的承诺。他写道：“整个德大系统的教职员工和学生……和我一道热情欢迎你们，就像一代又一代国际学生和学者在我们这里学习时所受到的热情欢迎一样” 。
例如，位于佛罗里达州墨尔本（Melbourne, Florida）的佛罗里达理工学院（Florida Institute of Technology，简称Florida Tech），与每个国际学生建立联系，在一切可能的情况下，为面临旅行限制的学生更改期限。无法前来美国的佛工院学生将可以远程完成课业。与此同时，佛工院负责招生管理的副院长布莱恩·埃利希（Brian Ehrlich）说，佛工院允许那些暑假没有回国的留学生在秋季学期继续住校园宿舍。
为减少病毒传播风险，佛罗里达理工学院实施了“佛工院安全”（“Florida Tech Safe”）方案，要求学生在校园使用最佳健康行为方式，并在一旦出现2019冠状病毒病（COVID-19）的症状或者检测呈阳性时，采用具体措施保护他人。学校将校内宿舍楼的住宿人数限为每室一人。
加州圣迭戈分校将采用“返校学习”（“Return to Learn”）方案，其中包括定期对学生、教师和员工进行COVID-19病毒检测。在秋季开学前，在学校医学研究人员的指导下和根据公共健康机构的建议，逐步增加校园人数。
U.S. universities adapt to help international students
By Lauren Monsen -Jul 30, 2020
As U.S. colleges and universities plan for a new academic year, they are focusing on ways to keep international students safe while furthering their educations despite the new coronavirus pandemic.
There are more than 1 million international students enrolled in U.S. higher-education institutions, according to the nonprofit Institute of International Education. They contributed more than $46 billion to the U.S. economy in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. They are an integral part of U.S. college life and, like American students, are eager to pursue their studies. International students “contribute greatly to this country’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy,” said Dulce Dorado, director of the University of California San Diego’s international students program.
Recently, the chancellor of the University of Texas, James Milliken, echoed her comments and those of other U.S. academic leaders in his statement to international students, in which he emphasized a commitment to their educations and future careers. “Faculty, staff and students across the UT system … join me in extending the warm welcome generations of international students and scholars have experienced during their study sojourns with us,” he wrote.
Being flexible to keep students safe
To ensure learning while keeping students safe during the coronavirus pandemic, some U.S. schools will teach students remotely, for the time being. But many will offer a mix of online and in-person classes. Schools have had time to improve their online offerings and to expand student services, with specialized support for international students.
For example, the Florida Institute of Technology (Florida Tech), located in Melbourne, Florida, is in close communication with each international student, making accommodations to deadlines whenever possible if a student faces travel restrictions. Florida Tech students unable to travel to the U.S. will be able to complete their coursework remotely. Meanwhile, those who did not return to their home countries over the summer have been allowed to remain in campus housing through the fall semester, said Brian Ehrlich, vice president for enrollment management.
To reduce the risk of virus transmission, the school has implemented a “Florida Tech Safe” plan, which requires students on campus to follow best health practices and take specific measures to protect others should they exhibit symptoms of or test positive for COVID-19. The school will limit occupancy at its residence halls to one student per room.
Also, the school will facilitate health screenings, restrict public access to campus, mandate face coverings, install plexiglass barriers in high-volume areas and increase cleaning.
At UC San Diego, a “Return to Learn” plan will involve regular COVID-19 screenings of students, faculty and staff and incrementally repopulate the campus before the fall term begins, guided by the school’s medical researchers in conjunction with public health recommendations.
Student services’ long reach
UC San Diego’s creation of a virtual student union and other online services will help students who are unable to travel to the U.S. The school will offer webinars, flexible virtual advising hours to accommodate different time zones, access to health professionals via telemedicine, virtual counseling and discussion forums in different languages. Professional development programs for graduate students have transitioned to a virtual format.
“It will be important to ensure that students have access to resources and have equitable experiences on our campuses, no matter where they are in the world,” Dorado said.
For those who can travel, “peer mentors and coaches are reaching out to incoming international students, so they can get connected to current students and the UC San Diego community before they arrive in the U.S.,” said Dorado.
Campus officials cite the importance of overseas alumni groups, which share information with students coming to the U.S. and their parents.
Finally, at Florida Tech, UC San Diego and many other U.S. colleges, students can request deferment of their enrollment until the winter term, if needed. “We have seen a few more [requests] than normal, but not large numbers. We are hearing from students and families that they still want to pursue their education now,” Ehrlich said.
Want to learn more about studying in the United States opportunities, join us at the upcoming EducationUSA college fair on October 11, hosted at the Beijing American Center of U.S. Embassy in Beijing. To register, please scan the QR code on the flyer or click the following URL link. We look forward to your participation!https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EDUUSA2020