In partnership with its 25 autonomous districts and 49 universities that are scheduled to admit students from China, Seoul has organized the “Joint Response Group for Students from China in Seoul” to offer omnidirectional support for students from China who are slated to enter South Korea from the point of their entrance. Eligible beneficiaries include not only Chinese students, but also students who stayed in China before entering South Korea.
At a meeting to discuss measures for the “protection and support for students from China related to COVID-19,” the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Ministry of Education, major universities, and autonomous districts decided to closely cooperate in every field, including information-sharing, supporting temporary housing, and 1:1 health care monitoring, in order to prevent the spread of the infectious disease.
The Ministry of Education decided to share the information filled out by students from China via the “Self –Diagnosis” mobile app with the city of Seoul and universities. By doing this, the local government and universities, which had been suffering from a shortage of information about foreign students, can promptly respond to the situation.
Seoul has organized the “Joint Response Group for Students from China in Seoul” in partnership with its 25 autonomous districts and 49 universities. The Response Group comprises of four teams—General Affairs Team, Factual Survey Team, Special Support Team, and Foreign Cooperation Team.
First, when students from China arrive in South Korea, shuttle buses will transport them from the airport to their universities. Each university will operate their school buses or call vans, but a university that lacks a self-contained solution, the autonomous district will offer supports and the city will pay the costs related to the shuttle operation. Living guidelines for foreign students, which contain directions to follow after entering South Korea and advice on daily behaviors, will be distributed at the point of quarantine in special entry procedures or the Arrival Hall.
Regarding the housing support, universities will be primarily accommodating and managing students from China using dormitories and idle campus facilities while Seoul and autonomous districts will support them by securing temporary living spaces.
Priority support will be offered to eligible beneficiaries of temporary living spaces—symptomatic students from China diagnosed negative for COVID-19 and students from China who have been in contact with COVID-19 patients and are ordered to self-quarantine but with no place to stay.
If a student from China stays somewhere else than a dormitory, a monitor of the university will check his or her health conditions at least twice a day on the phone. Daily health conditions of students from China will also be reported on the Self –Diagnosis mobile app. If a university is short of monitoring personnel, the autonomous district and Seoul will support the budget for the recruitment.
Seoul has developed plans to build companionship between the students and the residents in the vicinity of universities by addressing a vague antipathy and wariness against students from China so that the students can enjoy the meaningful lives of studying in a foreign country. Additionally, the city will conduct concentrated disinfection in universities and temporary living spaces for students as well as university-clustered areas.