A ban announced Monday on anyone who isn’t a citizen or permanent resident — or American — coming to Canada is creating uncertainty for schools that host international students.
“We haven’t heard anything specific on that,” said Scott Stinson, superintendent of Sooke School District, which has about 280 international students from around the world.
“We did advise all of our international students not to go home during the break, and so I believe most of them have stayed.”
Stinson said he is unsure what the long-term impact will be.
“We’re still unpacking a lot of this information and seeing what that will mean for us,” he said. “But I would imagine if the ban extends to China and Asia and so on, that that would have an impact on anybody that did decide to go home.”
The Saanich School District has about 300 international students and also advised them to stay put for spring break. Superintendent Dave Eberwein said he believes that all of them stayed in Canada.
“It shouldn’t be a concern for us, but we’re certainly keeping our eye on this, as things change on a daily basis.”
Global Village Victoria, which has about 150 students ranging from teenagers to 70-year-olds in various English programs, has been preparing for COVID-19 for weeks, said president and CEO Paula Jamieson.
She said students who have recently gone home to international destinations would “absolutely” have concerns about added travel restrictions.
Jamieson said the school has already taken other measures, such as adjusting the cancellation policy to make it more flexible for students.
“We also were offering a special extension discount so that if students can’t leave Canada — some parents had been encouraging them not to come home — then they could have a reduced rate on their tuition of they were kind of forced into a situation of needing to stay here,” she said.