international students

Cal Students Band Together to Support International Schoolmates

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International students face an uncertain future in the fall, after ICE warned it would strip away their student visas, if their universities moved all classes online. 

It took less than 48 hours for Cal students to band together and come up with their own on-campus courses so their international schoolmates can stay in the country. 

“Can’t even fathom what they’re going through,” said Ameya Chander, UC Berkeley student. 

After ICE warned that it would kick out international students who attend universities that will switch to online-only classes in the fall, they brainstormed.

“We were like we have to do something because so many of our international friends have been affected,” Chander said. 

She started brainstorming from her bedroom in Georgia and came with a student-led course focused on one of her passions – country music. 

“Probably start with older songs like 'Country Roads Take Me Home' and like those classics, and definitely some Luke Bryan! I’m a huge Luke Bryan fan,” she said.  

Chander is not alone. Over in Chino, another UC Berkeley student, Shane Fan, came up with his own cloud computing class. 

“I immigrated here a while ago so I empathize with international students,” Fan said.  

He’s even typed up a syllabus. 

“It might or not might happen,” Fans said. “We have to get departmental approval.”

A UC Berkeley spokesperson says a committee has decided that student-run courses also known as DeCal, will all be held remotely, not in-person.

Over at San Jose State University, the president called ICE’s new rule  “troubling” and said the school is switching to a hybrid model in the fall. 

International Student Manav Patel is worried he’ll have to spend thousands of dollars taking a class he has no interest in – just so he can satisfy ICE’s new rule.  

“It is unfair to pay a lot of amount just to stay in the country and not contribute towards our major for a whole semester,” Patel said.

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