The academic schedule for Spring 2020 has been changed. The start of semester has been delayed for two weeks and starts on March 16, while the end of semester has been delayed for one week and ends on June 26. The February Graduation Ceremony has been cancelled and will be celebrated in unison with the August Graduation on Aug. 28.
However, tension remains between students and the school’s new policies. The most controversial policy regards the dormitory. In order to be sure coronavirus doesn’t enter the dorms, the school has postponed the official check-in date for approximately two weeks. Early check-in is strictly forbidden. Students who visited or stopped over China, Hong Kong, or Macau will be required to wait and make sure they wait during the two-week incubation period before being allowed to enter the dorms. All students entering the dorms will be required to check their temperature, and if they have a fever over 37.5 degrees, they will be restricted from entering. Heat detectors and body temperature systems are to be installed within the dorms for further supervision.
The alteration of the check-in date is unwelcoming news to foreign students.
“It’s hard for foreign students to find residence for three weeks,” said Shirin Cristina Elmi Flores who is a sophomore in International studies, and an international student from Mexico. “Students don’t have a lot of money to spend on housing, especially when they’re alone in another country. Since we don’t have a family house to go to, our options are to use Airbnb or hotels but they’re too expensive. I ended up staying at a gosiwon (a small, enclosed housing plan of approximately 6.6m3), and I still have to pay around 600,000 won for a three-week stay. When I asked The Office of Global Affairs what they could do to help me, they just wished me good luck.”
Batycka Barbara Zofia, a junior in International studies and foreign student from Poland, also spoke of her financial struggles regarding this matter.
I lost a lot of money changing my flight and accommodations on such short notice,” she said.
"There was limited communication between the school and the students. I would have appreciated if the notices came with better arguments, and if the school answered our questions,” she pointed out.
The school announced that it would be receiving students flying immediately from China into the I-House. They will be required to submit various papers, and only those that are completely safe from the coronavirus will be allowed to enter.
The International Exchange Affairs Team also stated that out of the seven Ewha students scheduled to be sent for Chinese universities as exchange students in the first semester, six applied for postponement or cancellation. The school is taking measures to postpone their enrollment to the second semester.
Furthermore, additional measures were taken to effectively refrain outsiders from entering the school. Campus tours from the Welcome Center THAT have been cancelled will be further suspended for the time being; however, students have been voicing concerns on community sites such as Everytime that the restricted entry is not fully effective.
The school is striving to counter coronavirus in the most effective way possible. Though tension between the school’s new policies and the students remain, both parties will have to do their best to face this coronavirus nightmare.