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What new U.S. travel rules mean for foreign students, scholars

first_imgThe U.S. government’s new travel restrictions for 28 European countries amid the global COVID-19 pandemic went into place over the weekend. The restrictions limit travel from these nations to the U.S. and will affect a number of students and scholars across Harvard’s Schools and international centers, as well as staff at the University’s offshoots in Europe and the U.K. The Gazette spoke with Mark Elliott, vice provost for international affairs, and Martha Gladue, director of the Harvard International Office (HIO), to learn more about what the University is doing to serve the needs of its international student body at this difficult time.Q&AMark Elliott and Martha GladueGAZETTE: What do students and scholars need to know about the restrictions?ELLIOTT: President Trump issued a proclamation on March 11 which suspends entry to the United States for 30 days for most immigrants and nonimmigrants who have been in, or traveled through, the 26 countries that constitute the European Union’s border-free Schengen Area in the past 14 days. [On March 14, the Trump administration added the United Kingdom and Ireland to the restricted list.] The restrictions are identical to those issued for China and Iran in January and February, respectively, but not as strict as the regulations for travelers returning from South Korea. The bottom line is that anyone reentering the U.S. from these locations should plan to self-isolate for 14 days after their return.GAZETTE: So are there any who are exempt?ELLIOTT: I would note that the proclamation for travelers from the E.U. does not apply to U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, to the immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents, with some conditions, or to certain other individuals as stipulated in the proclamation. Taken together, the ensemble of travel restrictions does, however, affect a very significant portion of the Harvard community, both our 5,000 international students — who represent some 25 percent of all degree-seeking students at the University — and international scholars and postdocs, of whom we also host over 5,000. The burden on these individuals, who, like the rest of us, must deal with the anxiety and information overload relating to COVID-19, is compounded by the fact that they must cope with this fast-changing situation in a foreign environment and, for many, in a foreign language as well.GAZETTE: Can you talk a little more about the complications for foreign undergraduates?ELLIOTT: Following the decision to go to online instruction and to close undergraduate residential housing, many international students were already faced with difficult decisions — in some cases complicated by visa issues — about whether to return home or to remain in the United States. Martha’s team at the Harvard International Office, together with the Office for the Vice Provost for International Affairs and partners across Harvard’s Schools, have been working around the clock to find solutions for each student who comes to us with concerns about returning home or, in other cases, working out a good plan to be able to stay here on campus.GAZETTE: What is the University doing to help other Harvard affiliates worldwide who may be affected by current travel regulations from the U.S. government?ELLIOTT: Together with previously existing CDC recommendations and restrictions on travel imposed by governments around the world, the March 11 proclamation also affects Harvard students, scholars, and employees who are currently abroad and who face similarly difficult decisions as to whether to return to the U.S. at this time. Our office, along with the HIO, School departments, and the various international and area studies centers, have been working to provide all possible assistance. In many instances, we refer people to Global Support Services, which has been actively in touch with all registered travelers; their website is a great resource. I should add that Harvard College’s Office of International Education has been directly in contact with all College students currently studying abroad to help them adjust their plans for the remainder of the semester.GAZETTE: What advice is the HIO giving students who wish to return home to one of the nations on the U.S. government’s current COVID-19 restricted travel list?GLADUE: In this time of stress and uncertainty, we recognize that many of these students want to be at home with their families. We suggest first confirming flights with their airlines, as the current travel situation is extremely fluid. In addition, the travel website of the Harvard International Office has important information about the proper documents students will need for when they return to the United States, such as ensuring that they have a valid travel signature before they leave the country. Following the March 11 proclamation, the U.S. Department of State issued broader warnings for worldwide travel that go beyond the scope of the proclamation, including a global Level 3 health advisory: Reconsider Travel. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a Level 3 warning for Europe: Avoid Nonessential Travel. Harvard College is considering requests from students who are from locations with CDC Level 3 warnings for COVID-19 and those from travel-ban countries to remain in campus housing. Students in other Schools should continue to work with their School officials for more specific guidance and ongoing support. Students who remain on campus will participate in virtual learning, just like those who have left. Harvard will make every effort to provide support for students who remain, though they should understand that on-campus activities and interactions with fellow community members will be severely limited.GAZETTE: Should international students be concerned about the status of their student visas? What about international scholars?GLADUE: HIO has received guidance from the federal government that it intends to be flexible with regard to student visas, since their programs were not intended to be taught online. The legal immigration status of international students is not in jeopardy, providing they continue to make progress in a full course of study. Visiting scholars from overseas should work with their departments regarding any accommodations that need to be made to allow them to continue teaching and research. If students and international scholars have any questions or concerns to this end, they should be in touch with their HIO adviser.Interview was edited for clarity and condensed for space.This story was updated on March 14. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

‘One and Done’: Illini oust Badgers in Indy

first_imgUW guard Trevon Hughes fouled out in the Badgers\’ quarterfinal loss to Illinois Friday afternoon.[/media-credit]INDIANAPOLIS — With 33 seconds remaining in Friday’s quarterfinal game versus Illinois, all signs seemed to point to a Wisconsin victory.Although the Badgers trailed by two, they had stolen all the game’s momentum from Illinois. And Trevon Hughes was on such a hot streak nothing could stop him. Except, of course, Hughes’ fifth foul, which came just seven seconds later.With that, the Illini regained the game’s momentum, making two of three free throws while the Badgers missed their only shot attempt.Shooting 8-of-10 from the field, a perfect 2-for-2 beyond the arc and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line, junior center Mike Tisdale led all scorers Friday afternoon with 21 points.When the final buzzer sounded and the score read 58-54 in Illinois’ favor, the Illini walked off the court knowing their season would continue at least another day.“We came here to keep living one day at a time,” Illini head coach Bruce Weber said. “So we’re excited about [the win].”Conversely, those in cardinal and white were left asking “What if?” As in, what if the Badgers had made seven shots in the first half instead of six? Or, what if Wisconsin had gone to the free-throw line 20 times instead of 14?And finally, what if Hughes had never fouled out of the game? Of course, like a true senior, Hughes was quick to point out the flaw in the last of those questions.“You can’t look at it that way,” he said. “In the first half, if I made a couple there or tr[ied] to get some more stops on defense, we wouldn’t have even been in that situation. It’s throughout the whole game, not just that instance right there when I fouled out.“The whole game, we put ourselves in that position. We had a chance to win or tie it, and we feel short.”Then again, what if Illinois had kept UW down for the entire 40 minutes, rather than allowing its opponent to cut the lead to just two points late in the game?With 6:50 remaining in the game, Demetri McCamey missed a layup, grabbed his own rebound and found D.J. Richardson open beyond the arc. Richardson hit that jumper, extending Illinois’ lead to 46-30 and all but sealing victory for the Illini.Or so it seemed.Over the next six-plus minutes, Wisconsin outscored Illinois 24-10 to make it just a two-point game when Hughes drilled a three with 33 seconds remaining. Hughes had gone 0-for-11 to start the game, but finished the game by hitting four of his last five, all from beyond the arc.Much like he did earlier in the season at Northwestern, Hughes did not let his poor shooting throughout the first 38 minutes of the game discourage him.“You’ve got to keep believing,” head coach Bo Ryan said. “As poorly as our shooters shot the ball, they were still the ones that were igniting some good things that were happening.”To open the game, Hughes was not the only one struggling offensively. Wisconsin shot poorly as a team in the first half — and that’s putting it lightly.The Badgers hit just 18.2 percent of 33 first-half attempts from the floor, including just 3-for-12 from beyond the arc. As a result, UW scored just 20 points before halftime.Of those 20, junior forward Jon Leuer had 11, leading all scorers. Leuer would score just three points in the second half, though, matching Hughes with a team-high 14 points.Illinois’ first half shooting was just the opposite, as head coach Bruce Weber’s squad shot 13-of-20, or 65 percent from the floor before the break. McCamey led the Illini with 10 first-half points.But thanks to 10 Illini turnovers in the opening period, the halftime score was just 29-20.For the game, Illinois turned the ball over 17 times, compared to just five turnovers for Wisconsin. Unfortunately for the Badgers, however, they did not take advantage quite as well as they would have liked.“What did they end up with, 17 turnovers?” Ryan asked rhetorically after the game. “Come on. That’s — you put a team in that position where there’s a difference of 12, you’ve got to be on the other side with that one.“And then when you’re not, you lick your wounds and go to next.”While the game was within reach at the half, the Badgers failed to break out of their poor shooting ways to open the second half, as Illinois scored five unanswered over the first four minutes to make it 34-20. A 6-2 run by Wisconsin shortly thereafter cut that lead back to 10 points at 36-26.Play went back and forth over the next five minutes, with Illinois leading 41-30 with 9:51 remaining after a pair of Jason Bohannon free throws. The next five points went to Illinois, though, which made it 46-30 following Richardson’s shot.Wisconsin made it interesting from there, but it was simply too little too late.last_img read more