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International Students excited travel restrictions lifted

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 7:14 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Travel restrictions have been difficult for so many. Some local international students attending Michigan State University haven’t been able to see their families for almost two years.

In November, they finally will be able to.

The United States plans to open its borders to vaccinated international travelers beginning November 8th.

Rebecca Malouin, Director of the Canadian Studies Center at MSU, says her students are excited to finally return home.

" I was able to talk to many of our students, some in the professional schools some in the graduate schools, and they’re thrilled to be able to go back and forth a bit easier,” said Malouin.

Many students at MSU haven’t been able to return home since the start of the pandemic. If they have traveled, they’ve done so at their own risk. Advait Rathi, an international student from India, says that not being able to see family has taken its toll on students.

“Not seeing your family for a year or a year and a half I personally know some friends who haven’t seen their families for like two years- and they were not able to go back and they felt all sorts of things when they were like here and they were stuck and their family couldn’t visit them,” said Rathi.

Clara Graucob, an international student from Germany, is one of those students that hasn’t been able to see her loved ones since the start of the pandemic. She is excited to be able to share special moments with them.

“Think about all the big moments in life, you know so many weddings that were postponed, so many funerals that couldn’t be visited, so many high school graduations and you couldn’t go and celebrate that way and just not being able to see somebody when they’re across the ocean,” said Graucob.

Graucob says her time away from loved ones made her realize how excited she is to be free to travel again.

“It lead to this feeling of being stuck which is not something that’s nice,” she said. “I know in America it’s all about freedom but this was definitely something for the first time that I felt that I wasn’t as free as you think you are.”

Like Graucob, Advait says what people like him have experienced is something that you can’t understand unless you’ve lived it.

“You can never know the situation someone is in by just imagining it sometimes,” he said. “I know being empathetic is being really nice and empathy is good but it’s not all that’s required to make the situation better for international students.”

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