The Ivy Coach Daily

April 29, 2020

International Students in Duke’s Class of 2024

Can’t come to Durham, North Carolina? How about going to Suzhou, China instead?

If you happen to be an international student who enrolled in Duke University’s Class of 2024 and you’re worried about whether or not you’ll be able to set foot on the school’s Durham, North Carolina campus this coming fall, know that Duke has come up with a backup plan. Sure, maybe you envisioned reading a book and smelling the roses in Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Or maybe you envisioned painting your face blue and attending games with fellow Cameron Crazies. But if that’s not possible this coming fall, Duke has your back. You can go to China instead. That’s right. International students in Duke’s incoming class who are barred from entry to the United States due to travel restrictions will have the option of spending their fall at Duke Kunshan University in Suzhou, China. It’s just a stone’s throw away from Durham.

As Matthew Griffin reports for The Duke Chronicle in a piece entitled “Class of 2024 international students who face travel restrictions can spend Fall semester at DKU,” “Duke can’t guarantee students the ability to choose this option, because the ability to enter and study in China is subject to China’s travel policies. It states that students who choose this option would still be Duke students and receive full credit toward their Duke degree. Duke students studying at DKU would take a combination of in-person DKU classes and remotely delivered Duke classes, Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, told The Chronicle. In addition, incoming international DKU first-years who can get to the United States—but not to China—can start in Durham in the fall, Schoenfeld said. The availability of these options depends on the universities resuming operations in the fall in a way that allows students to be on campus, he said.”

While we like that Duke is coming up with backup plans for international students in its Class of 2024, we’re not so sure these students will be too thrilled at the prospect of spending their fall in Suzhou, China rather than Durham, North Carolina. It may not be what they had in mind! But, hey, we are in unprecedented times.

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