American Universities Help Students Flee Hong Kong for Safety or Fly Home Amidst Protests

hongkong protest
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In the wake of continuing violent protests, foreign universities are seeking to remove their students from Hong Kong. In an official statement, Georgetown officials said it is working actively with on-the-ground security officials to help their students either evacuate or fly back to their home country.

The spokesperson for Georgetown said the school provided resources to help students secure ground transportation, alternative short-term safe housing, and book homebound flights.

The spokesman added that once students are moved safely, the University will work with them to ensure that they can complete the rest of their academic work remotely.

Syracuse University is also helping students to pay transportation costs to flee Hong Kong, but some students at the school are worried that their efforts are not adequate.

Darcy Palder, a student from Syracuse currently enrolled in the Hong Kong program, told reporters that while Syracuse will cover the cost of flight adjustments, it may not accept flights booked for days other than November 19.

Syracuse University said in a statement on Monday that students who did not depart on November 19 could still have their costs covered but would have to deal with the school's security company, International SOS, to book a new flight home.

Students from all over the world are enrolled in studying abroad programs in Hong Kong. Several Norwegian students who studied at Hong Kong Baptist University have also been affected by abruptly abbreviated study-out programs, according to USA Today.

According to USA Today, one of those students named Elina Neverdal Hjoennevaag told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that they were told to pack their bags quickly and move away from their college campus.

The student publication of Georgetown University, The Hoya, confirmed that 15 Georgetown students currently enrolled abroad in Hong Kong have had their semesters cut short and are being told to leave the city. Reportedly, 11 of those students are currently enrolled in programs at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and 4 students are studying at the City University of Hong Kong through a partnership program with Syracuse University.

Both of those affiliate institutions in Hong Kong announced that they would interrupt this week's classes with demonstrations beginning to make their way to campuses.

Syracuse University, which also has students studying abroad through collaboration with City University of Hong Kong, announced this week that its study-abroad program would also be ending officially on November 19.

Although officials in Syracuse said they didn't believe their students' safety were at risk, chancellor of the university, Kent Syverud, sent an email to students, faculty, and staff who admitted mounting protests surrounding campuses in Hong Kong pressured the school to act.

The University of California Education Abroad Program announced last week that its spring study abroad program in Hong Kong would be discontinued. According to Daily Nexus, students who chose to study in the chaotic city would need to transfer to another program. There are 79 UC students currently studying in Hong Kong and they have been advised to return home as soon as possible.

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