I randomly happened across the #takeUsBackToChina hashtag at the beginning of June. It only took a few minutes of reading before I was drawn to reach out to some of the students so they could share their stories with me.
There will always be obstacles when you work to create a better life, but in the era of coronavirus, there are even more hurdles. Especially for international students. In some cases online classes are offered, but in between drastic time zone differences, needing to work and the impracticality of trying to use Powerpoint slides to learn surgery make online classes impractical for most.
One common thread seems to be the existence of China International Students Union and the community gathered around the hashtag giving students some hope. For more information I recommend following Joyce Lau of Times Higher Education as well as the Twitter and Instagram profiles for CISU.
In the past few months, China's Global Times has reported on a similar situation faced by Chinese international students unable to return to the US for studies. The Chinese government and the students themselves have a right to be upset, but a very similar situation is faced by students from Europe, Russia, the middle East and throughout Asia.
Here's hoping with more eyes and ears on the situation the plight of these students will be heard and China's "soft power failure" as Curtis Chin put it. For those interested in learning more about this situation, in addition to just perusing the hashtag I highly recommend following Joyce Lau of Times Higher Education who has been reporting on this since 2020 and recently did an update at the end of May.