The COVID-19 Reality for one International Student

Photo courtesy of Capucine Doucet

International student Capucine Doucet was looking forward to great fulfillment and joy as a graduate student at UWG. Her letter of admission was the first successful step towards her goal, but when the pandemic struck, Capucine experienced firsthand the negative impact of COVID-19 when she had to cancel her return to UWG.

“The Pandemic really affected my plans because I was not able to go to the U.S.,” said Capucine. “The American embassies in France were closed and didn’t deliver any student visas.”

In May 2020, Capucine graduated from a four-year program with a Bachelor of Business Administration at Excelia La Rochelle Business School in France. This program, which has an international aspect, required all students to study abroad for their third year of enrollment. Thanks to an exchange partnership between her school in France and UWG, she managed to come study at UWG from August 2018 to May 2019.

“My experience at UWG was very interesting and pleasant,” said Capucine. “I really enjoyed living in the U.S. and studying at UWG. I wanted to come back to do my MBA in Digital Marketing because I really enjoyed my year there.”

At UWG, Capucine was involved in Greek Life, notably Delta Zeta, and several other organizations such as the International Student Club, which focused on facilitating international students’ adjustment to campus and the American culture. It didn’t take her long to make a decision when she began contemplating furthering her education.

“My first choice after my graduation was to study at UWG for my master’s degree in business administration,” said Capucine.

During her time at UWG, she cherished the American culture and the relationships she was able to build with the different professors and staff members.

“They are very close to you, accessible and helpful if you have any kind of problems,” said Capucine.

Most countries had to close their borders to slow the number of COVID-19 cases, and U.S. consulate offices closed in France for quarantine measures. Because of this Capucine had no choice but to enroll in a school in France.

“At first, I wanted to do the first semester online in order to get a visa for Spring, but it was too uncertain,” said Capucine.

Even though students can now apply for student visas under certain conditions, it is still a complicated and lengthy process to get a visa and travel. There are strict travel restrictions and minimal flights between France and the United States. By the time the spring semester begins in January, the cold weather is likely to worsen the virus’ spread—making it incredibly difficult to start the spring semester at an American university.

“Talking about UWG still makes me emotional because I really wanted to come back for my last year of my studies,” said Capucine.

Capucine is currently in Lille, a city in the north of France, where she began her master’s degree in Digital Marketing at IÉSEG School of Management on Sept. 7.