SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — Many foreign students feel socially isolated, particularly those without any social communities in South Korea, following the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Education reported that there were 160,000 foreign students residing in Korea as of last year, with most still residing in the country despite the onset of the pandemic.
“My parents were supposed to visit me this summer, but we had to cancel after the pandemic got worse,” said an exchange student from Germany.
“I then planned to visit Germany at Christmas, but that’s also becoming very unlikely because of the quarantine policy when re-entering South Korea.”
“I can’t hang out with friends. I can’t even go to a restaurant or cafes. Even the school’s giving online lectures. There is nothing I can do, and that is depressing,” said a student from the United States.
Foreign students also struggle with negative perceptions towards foreigners that spread after the coronavirus outbreak.
“No one wanted to sit next to me on the subway or other means of public transportation ever since the coronavirus broke out in Itaewon. It’s been quite awful,” said another exchange student.
“While I understand how Koreans have negative views towards Chinese people, it still takes a toll on people like me,” said a local Chinese student. “But I intend to abide by the rules and regulations here. Then I’m sure things will turn out for the better.”
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)