In this follow up to our COVID-19 podcast from March, two students who elected to stay in their host countries, England and the United States, talk about their experiences navigating the pandemic from somewhere other than home. Bangkok Patana School 2019 alumnus Henry Phan and Shifeng Xu talk about how their decisions to stay were made: the circumstances that shaped those decisions, the discussion of logistics such as housing and accommodation, and other external factors such as family opinion and VISAs.
Henry is currently studying Integrated Mathematics at the University of Warwick. Originally from Danang, Vietnam, he completed some of his primary school education there before relocating with his parents to Bangkok, where they have stayed for the past 11 or so years. Shifeng is currently studying Chemical Engineering at University of Texas at Austin. His first 8 years were spent in China with his grandparents, before he moved to be closer with his parents in Kenya for another 8 years. From there, his family moved to Bangkok, where he finished his final years of secondary school.
Facilitated by our podcast host, Michael Waitze, topics such as the differences between the International school bubble of Bangkok and their new academic settings, as well as the issue of racism in light of COVID-19, are covered alongside how the situations in Warwick and Austin have been unfolding. Ultimately, we hope that this episode will be able to illuminate the experiences of those that weren’t able to, or chose not to, return back home to Asia.