Since the Covid outbreak, China banned visas for international students, affecting an estimated 23,000 Indian students studying in universities across the country before the pandemic started.
“When I got admission for MBBS in China, I had certain expectations of how my life would be. But now everything has changed so drastically for us. When we left China in 2020, I had no idea that we were not going back for a long time. I am in my fourth year right now. I am doubtful whether I will be able to go back before I reach my final year”, says a medical student.
Chinese diplomatic lines informed on Tuesday that it was considering a coordinated arrangement for the return of the international students. But they cant specify a definite timeline to allow them, including over 23,000 Indians, who were stuck back home for the past two years due to Beijing’s COVID-19 visa bans. The students who returned to India had also brought home the first Covid case, a medical student from Kerala, studying at a university in Wuhan.
The strict zero case policy of COVID-19 by the government of China is burdensome to thousands of students, mostly studying in Chinese medical colleges, has virtually ruined nearly two years of their education.
The online classes that their colleges claim to conduct made little difference to the medical students who miss their relevant laboratory classes.
Bhoyar, who is currently in the fourth year of her five-year MBBS course, said, “Most of the practicals begin from third year onwards. I have no practical experience so far. Studying online is also not easy. I struggle with network problems, sometimes I can’t understand the concepts in the online class”.
According to diplomatic sources, the Indian government has also been pushing China to allow students to resume their studies in person. India’s medical regulator National Medical Council (NMC) has cautioned students in the country against seeking admission to Chinese institutions amid the visa ban.