Thursday, September 24, 2020

University of Iowa sophomore and member of OASIS (Organization for the Active Support of International Students) Sydney Nguyen poses for a portrait outside of Phillips Hall on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Originally from Vietnam, Nguyen came to the university her freshman year to pursue a degrees in English and creative writing.

Sabine Martin, The Daily Iowan

University of Iowa international student Saloni Upadhyay faced a decision in March — whether she should fly home to her family in Mumbai or stick out the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. She chose to stay and traveled to live with relatives in New Jersey when the UI announced it would offer hybrid instruction for the fall semester.

“I had to change my plan,” Upadhyay said. “I felt pressure at all times and then decided to stay here [in the U.S.] when the university announced their plans.”

In an email to The Daily Iowan, UI Associate Director of International Student and Scholar Services Michael Bortschellersaid students were not forced to leave when COVID-19 began spreading in the U.S.