High school foreign exchange students are being asked to go home with COVID-19 expected to last for several more weeks or months. Laura Olson is with the EF High School Exchange Program. She says their program works with the Department of State, which is recommending citizens return to their home countries:

“For a variety of reasons, of course, the uncertainty, not knowing how long this is going to go on. Access to health care is another concern and access to travel and flights in the future as well.”

Olson says their program alone has about 3,000 students across the U.S. with about 150 here in Minnesota. She says they come from 14 countries mostly in Asia and Europe.

“That does include places like Italy and it does include Spain, where we’re seeing those numbers increase. And of course, it was a really tough decision of sending some of those students home to the area where the coronavirus are much higher than they are in Minnesota.”

Typically high school exchange students go home a week or two after the school year ends, which is about two to three months away.