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UK international students arrive on campus for spring semester

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:08 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Travel restrictions are starting to lift as more people get vaccinated for COVID-19. At the University of Kentucky, some international students are seeing the campus for the first time, and starting college can be nerve-racking.

“It was daunting at first because I didn’t know what to expect. I mean first semester in college, I didn’t know how it was going to be,” said Princess Agbozo, a UK freshman from Ghana.

Due to travel restrictions, Agbozo and other freshman international students had to take their first semester courses online. The University of Kentucky started the Global Wildcats program to help them feel welcomed.

“The good thing about not being here last semester is that I made my support system before coming here, so I had friends here and people who could help me move in,” said Julia Mansur Cardoso, a UK freshman from Brazil.

With travel restrictions lifting, Mansur Cardoso is starting the spring semester in person. Because US embassies were closed in Brazil, where she’s from, she had to travel to Paraguay to get an American visa. Agbozo had to take a 22-hour flight from Qatar.

“Qatar is very hot. It’s like the opposite coming here. It was freezing, so we were freezing. Apart from that we really loved the campus,” Agbozo said.

While the two freshmen are adjusting to life in a new country, they are no strangers to the pandemic.

“In Brazil we don’t have a national vaccination plan, so that’s the biggest difference,” Mansur Cardoso said.

Mansur Cardoso, who wants to study business, plans to get a COVID-19 Vaccine once it’s available to students. Agbozo says the pandemic has reinforced her dreams of becoming a doctor.

“The pandemic has showed that we need to work together more than ever, especially in terms of health,” Agbozo said.

While being away from home will be tough, the students say they’re happy to be joining the big UK family.

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