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After facing ICE directive scare, some international students celebrate approved requests for all-year housing

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International students approved for all-year housing expressed relief when granted their housing requests, citing factors like taking classes across time zones and risking infection as reasons for their application.

Stanford approved 73% of the 1,204 housing requests submitted for all-year on-campus housing eligibility. Students were notified of their application status on July 20, according to a Re-Approaching Stanford email sent out on July 22. Stanford spokesperson E.J. Miranda declined to comment on what percentage of international student housing requests specifically had been approved.

The University recommended international students apply for on-campus housing after  Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced regulations that could potentially force students to take on-campus classes each quarter that they would be enrolled. While ICE rescinded this regulation, many international students were still anxious to be approved for all-year housing eligibility.

Vivian Zhu ’23 wrote in an email to The Daily that her approval for on-campus housing meant she would no longer need to stress about high travel costs or the risk of infection on planes.

“Given the precariousness of the pandemic, having to move between Australia and the U.S. for the hybrid system would not only be deeply disruptive to my learning, but would result in increased risk of infection during travel,” Zhu wrote. “Finding off-campus housing, on the other hand, is also difficult during the pandemic.”

She added that her experience taking classes between 4:30 and 10:30 a.m. in spring quarter was also taxing and unsustainable. 

Other international students expressed similar concerns. “I couldn’t attend any seminars or workshops at all because they all happened around 3 a.m.,” Ryan Tan ’23 wrote in a statement to The Daily. “Even Bechtel declined my request to schedule a Zoom appointment outside of their drop-in hours, which was between my 4 a.m. and 7 a.m..”

Other students celebrated a potential return to normalcy after a difficult spring quarter. Stepan Sharkov ’23 wrote in a statement to The Daily that he was relieved he could be present in the United States for the entire year without any effect on his studies or family’s safety. This will be significantly close to a normal college experience, said Sharkov. 

Tan also said his approval also would provide additional stability for him during the school year.

“Stanford granting us housing … puts us in a much fairer position to make good use of our college time,” Tan said. “We know that if we can’t return to our home country should the COVID situation get worse, which seems likely to be the case, we’ll at least have a place to stay.”

“Being away from good friends that I’ve made over the really short time I’ve had on campus as a freshman last year has proved to be rather sad, and difficult,” Tan said. “It’d be great to be back with that kind of support network.”

Contact Smiti Mittal at smiti06 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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Smiti Mittal, originally from New Delhi, India, contributes to News, Satire, and Podcasts. Contact her at smiti06 'at' stanford.edu.