Grand Valley's international students truly reflect their global roots as some new students are starting fall semester classes remotely from Mexico, Tanzania, Ghana and other countries.
Kate Stoetzner, director of international student and scholar services, said more than 250 international students are enrolled at Grand Valley for the fall semester; of that number, 34 new and returning students remain in their home countries as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed embassies in some countries and delayed issuance of student visas.
Sam Jangala, who is pursuing a master's degree in public health, made it to his host family's home in Grand Rapids within days of learning his visa had been approved by officials in India.
"On August 11, I learned I got approval for my student visa. I had 12 hours to pack and get to the nearest airport," Jangala said. "That airport was closed, so we drove to a different airport and I arrived in Grand Rapids on August 19."