Home Career Air tickets costing $3,000 prevent Pakistani students from returning to China

Air tickets costing $3,000 prevent Pakistani students from returning to China


Another 11 students were unable to travel after testing positive for the coronavirus, while three were denied boarding at the airport after last-minute Covid-19 tests revealed high levels of antibodies, according to according to students.

One Pakistani PhD student said he received a call from Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission in early June to say he was one of 251 students shortlisted to return to China.

He was told to contact his university and apply for a visa, but was shocked to learn the cost of the flight, which he said was chartered specifically for students.

According to the student, before the pandemic, students from Pakistan typically paid between $150 and $300 for flights to China.

A PhD candidate borrowed money from friends and family, promising to pay it back when he arrived in China, when he would start receiving a doctoral scholarship again.

According to him, only 104 of the 251 selected students were able to pay for the flight – while those who could not afford it lost the opportunity to return.

Shortly before he was due to fly to China, the student took two PCR tests as required to enter the country, both of which came back negative.

A total of 11 students in the cohort tested positive at this stage and were unable to fly.

“It’s becoming almost impossible for me to graduate on time”

When the graduate student arrived at the airport, he took an express PCR test as required by his airline. The test showed high levels of antibodies – which could indicate a recent infection – and he said he was not allowed to board the flight with two other students.

Not only is the student not sure when he will have the next chance to return to China, the airline also told him that he will not be reimbursed for the cost of the flight.

Of the 251 students selected in June, only 90 reached China.

“It’s becoming almost impossible for me to graduate on time,” the student said.

Local press reported that the Chinese government has agreed that 250 students will initially be allowed to enter the country and that the Pakistani embassy in Beijing will continue to work to ensure that all students can return.

Market analysis firm BONNARD confirmed that many students would likely have to pay a high price to return to China.

“The main charge for foreign students returning to China is not the quarantine, but the flight tickets, the cost of which has increased,” said Grace Zhu, head of BONARD’s China office.

“To date, the circuit breaker mechanism has not been removed and the total number of available flights is still limited, which is the main reason for the high prices.”

China last week halved the quarantine time for foreign travelers to seven days in centralized facilities, with another three days in isolation in private housing.

As a result, the number of commercial flights to China is reportedly on the rise.

“Additionally, some universities provide scholarships to students who have returned from abroad to help with their flight and quarantine expenses,” Zhu said.

“For example, international students at Duke Kunshan University can apply for scholarships of up to $3,000 for travel to and from China and to cover quarantine expenses.”

Some students have already returned to China this year, including a small group Thai students in March and others from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in June.

However, most international students continue to wait for word on when they will be able to resume face-to-face classes.

“If students want to study in private lessons, we suggest that they apply to other areas”

Some 7,000 students from Pakistan alone have been barred from China since the start of the pandemic, while in neighboring India, an estimated 23,000 students are enrolled in Chinese universities.

“Given the current pandemic situation in the country and recent statements by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we believe that international students will gradually return to China,” Zhu said.

“However, the pace of return may be slow and steady, and the country will gradually open up to student groups from different countries.”

Students around the world continue to campaign for the restoration of borders on social media, recently optimistically posting changes in the guidelines of the relevant Chinese embassies.

For example, the Chinese embassy in Uruguay on June 28 updated states in its visa policy guidelines that “in principle, foreign students from China’s 147 “Double First Class” universities and students who have received Chinese government scholarships are eligible to apply for a visa to China. The embassy will inform you of the specific requirements.’

Despite these positive signs, it seems unlikely that students will return in droves anytime soon.

“Right now only a very few international students have been able to come back,” said Richard Coward, the company’s founder and CEO. Admission to Chinawhich helps international students apply to Chinese universities.

“Maybe more students will be able to return in September 2022 or 2023, but it depends on the Covid situation in China.

“If students wish to study in private, we encourage them to apply to other open areas.”

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