With the last group of students landed in Shanghai Pudong Airport at 3pm, February 23, 2020 from Kyoto, a day before the previously scheduled registration day of JI’s 2020 Spring Term, all the 318 students participating the 2020 Winter programs have all returned to China after a 56-days journey in 12 different countries, 15 programs worldwide.
With the impact of COVID-19 outbreak, students experienced quite an unusual adventure returning home. For the group to ITBA, Argentina, students were only notified about the flight cancellation when they woke up in the morning of January 31, 2020, the day of their original flight. Just a few hours ago, WHO declared the coronavirus a PHEIC, following by a large-scale of flight cancelation to China, including Turkish Airline’s TK 26, which students were supposed to take from Istanbul back to China. After hours of panicking and anxiety waiting at the airport of Buenos Aires, the 32 students finally were divided into two groups with one group took a later flight on that day to Hong Kong via Istanbul, then flight China Eastern to Shanghai. The other group of 9 students had to stay one more night at Buenos Aires and took the same flight back home the next day. Starting from this group, all the remaining groups thus abroad at TUB, NCSU, Tecnun, University of Pecs, UT Troyes, University of Adelaide, Warwick, SPbPu and University of McGill have their return tickets changed and had to get back with new flights.
During this unprecedented time, JI has provided numerous support to students abroad and helped those whose flight affected find new flights back home. JI’s Winter Program has a long history and recently become more popular among students. It is hoped that the pandemic will end soon and restore the study programs at JI.
International Programs Office
February 23, 2020