Due to uncertain availability of flights and potential border closings, many foreign exchange students attending Mora and Ogilvie schools are being sent home. Flights taking students to their home countries began Saturday, March 21.
All foreign students coordinated by the Education First organization, are being sent home. EF had six students attending Mora High School. These students have their flights planned and are scheduled to be flying home on March 25-26.
Scott Moe, EF’s international exchange coordinator for Mora, said, “This is a trying time for all of us, but especially for these kids and their families. Both host families here in Minnesota and their natural parents. We have been trying to pack as much into their limited remaining time here as possible.
“There has been individual stay at home proms. Birthday parties over face time. Picture taking around town. A lot of social distancing goodbyes.
“All of the kids wish to express their gratitude for the community of Mora. Teachers, students, staff and coaches at the high school have been so very great.
“A lot of tears being shed. But we don’t say good bye, we say until next time we meet.”
EF had approximately 3,400 students from 18 countries placed in schools throughout the contiguous United States.
Each of those 18 countries have unique rules going in place in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have closed borders, some are quarantining flight passengers upon arrival.
Ogilvie hosted three exchange students this year; one is being sent home.