Chinese exchange students return home amid concerns over flight cancellations

Lauren Cho

Six students from Shanghai who participated in the annual WLSA Cultural Exchange Program returned to China on Feb. 4, four days earlier than originally planned. Director of Kutler Center and Summer Programs Jim Patterson said that the early departure was due to the increasing number of coronavirus infections across the world, which has caused many airlines to cancel flights to mainland China.

“WLSA was concerned that it would be difficult to return to China if the students remained for the rest of the program and decided to bring them home early,” Patterson said.

WLSA students express disappointment regarding early departure

Exchange student Catherine Zhu said that she was disappointed that she was not able to stay for the entirety of the program.

“I feel sad about leaving early because we could have experienced many other interesting classes here and there were some fun activities that we were supposed to do with friends and our host families,” Zhu said.

Leaving early during the second week of the program means that the students will not be able to visit classes at both the Upper School and the Middle School.

Even though Zhu said she does feel disappointed about missing the rest of the program, she is still excited about the experiences she gained while at school.

“Although we spent a short time, all of us had a good time here. We met different people and made many new friends,” Zhu said.