Concordia University helping international students stay busy on campus during COVID-19 pandemic

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MEQUON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- As people across the state continue to practice social distancing and self-isolation at home, others don't have that ability.

Fifty-five international students at Concordia University are on campus because they can't return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Abby Tedesse is in her third year at Concordia.

"I was going to go home this summer, my sister is graduating back home, so I wanted to be there for her, but I don’t know if that’s happening anymore just because of how everything is fluid and changing every day," she said.

Tedesse is from Ethiopia.

"It’s just kind of isolating," she said. "We don’t have our families here so that something that you know other people can be quarantined with their families, but for international students it’s really hard and we’re just kind of in our little bubble."

The campus' International Center staff is trying to help students stay busy and not feel alone by providing different activities and products for students.

"We don’t want them doing their classes all day online and then watching movies, playing video games and just on the screen all day," Director of International Recruitment and Retention Amanda Reitz said. "For us that’s the whole point, is to continue on enhancing an experience here for our students, but kind of in a different method now."

Reitz and other employees are also making sure the students have what they need like snacks and toiletries because many are unable to leave campus.

For Tedesse, the changes are hard, but she's grateful for the International Center.

"We're really thankful for them," she said.

Tedesse hopes to return home later this summer, but is playing everything by ear.


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