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Indoors and in state for international students during spring break

by Sharon I. Ibe Mthembu

With spring break around the corner, international students are excited for a week break away from studying, early morning classes and the struggle to find clothes to wear.

Bahamian international student Tatyana Archer says that a bunch of her international student friends would be going to Dallas, South Padre or Miami to have fun and get away from Fort Worth because there is not much to do in Fort Worth.

Archer wouldn’t go back home because it’s only a week holiday and places like Miami are close to her home. She loves to travel but is not completely sure where she wants to spend her break

“I just want to relax from school and get white-girl wasted,” she said.

Archer is like many Wesleyan international students who say they are leaving the campus during spring break. Their destinations vary, but they are mainly staying both in Texas and on campus.

Matheus Macedo, a junior from Brazil, wants to stay on campus and wanted to go to Miami initially but decided to leave that idea so that he could save money to visit his romantic partner later.

He has heard that a lot of his friends would either be going to out of state places and if not stay on campus just like he is.

He doesn’t think the coronavirus would affect a lot of students because it’s all about keeping safe. His main reason for not doing a lot this spring break is to save money.

“I would go back home if I had the money, because it would be an opportunity for me to renew my energy and see my family,” he said.

Zambian senior Lukundo Chikuye will be going to Dallas for the spring break because a family member lives there. She has heard that a lot of students will not be doing much for the spring break because it is not ideal to go back home for a week and waste money and that the coronavirus is a risk. She has not gone home in two years but does not believe going home for a week would be beneficial.

“Dallas is ideal to me because would be receiving free food, free accommodation and free everything,” she said.

South African Bev Nkomo and Zimbabwean Lorrain Nyamwela will be traveling with two other Wesleyan students on a train to Dallas as part of a girls’ trip. Nyamwela and Nkomo agree that going back home for a week would not be worth it.

Both women see differences with other international students’ choices. Nkomo said she has heard that internationals would be staying on campus due to lack of funds and flying somewhere for only a week; Nyamwela heard that people are going home to places such as Mew Mexico and Honduras.

“I would love to experience more places in America, and I could always go back home in December,” Nkomo said.

“I’m just not a party person, so I wouldn’t travel to party destinations,” Nyamwela said.

Norma Vallejo, Wesleyan’s International advisor, did not hear much about where international students would be going but has asked around and found that a lot of students are staying on campus or nearby.

“I do believe that its great to stay on campus and catch up on sleep, but I do think that they could gather together and explore as a group around Fort Worth,” she said.

Vallejo wants the international students to gather together to ty new things together because it builds stronger friendships and would be cheaper to get around the city; having a student ID comes with benefits as well.

“My own son went to South Padre during his senior high school break and came back after one week because of how wild it was and how crazy the situation became,” she said. “It’s party central and he said he would never go back again.”

Vallejo had concerns about the summer break because it is longer than spring break.

“We don’t know how many students are going to say that they would not be going home during the summer, because of the coronavirus,” she said. “I just came back from a convention where all of universities said that a lot of their Asian students would not be traveling for the summer and would be staying in state, so the university is becoming more scarce to resources because they are having students stay here instead. This is a concern.”

Phuc Ho Gia Ha, a Vietnamese freshman, said she would be going to San Antonio for the spring break because she never been there and is a fan of the River Walk and the city’s scenery. She wants to go with a friend.

She has heard that a few of her friends will be going to Las Vegas and some to Houston because of the variety of Vietnamese restaurants there. She would love to go home but it is a 24-hour flight to get there.

“My mother fears for me to visit home because of the coronavirus because there are no direct flights to Vietnam and when travelling home I would have to pass through countries that are affected by the outbreak,” she said.

International student Matheus Macedo says he will be staying indoors during spring break.
Photo by Sharon I. Ibe Mthembu.

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