Exchange student from China is finally back on the Hill

Zhou quarantines in Cambodia for 14 days before traveling


Maggie Johnson

It was quite the journey, but senior Ann Zhou has made the trip from China to her home on the Hill for her last year of high school.

Zoey Johnston, Reporter

Right now, it’s challenging to attend school with the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, for exchange students, it’s even harder to get back on campus.

Senior Ann Zhou is an exchange student from China. She initially left Indiana to return home at the end of April last year. Typically, she goes home at the end of the school year for summer break, but she wanted to get home before travel restrictions kept her from leaving.

After staying in China all summer, the new school year began. Since it’s her senior year, she said she really wanted to finish high school on the Hill. However, this meant she’d have to travel back to the United States during an international pandemic.

At first, she participated in her classes on Zoom from China for about a month. Then, at the end of August, she began her journey back to the Hill.

She stayed in Cambodia for two weeks before making her way to America. The U.S. government doesn’t allow people who’ve been in China within 14 days of their visit into the country. This is because China was a hotspot and the source for the coronavirus, and this policy helps lower the chances of the virus spreading.

While in Cambodia, Zhou said she had to stay in a hotel and do Zoom classes from there. She said, “Cambodia’s not the safest place for teens to be at for a long time, but I just stayed in the hotel the entire time.” She didn’t know anybody in the area, but a friend of hers was also staying in Cambodia. They hung out fairly often to kill time. 

Once her two weeks of quarantining in Cambodia were done, she had to stop in South Korea because of more travel restrictions, and then she finally arrived in America.

Currently, she’s staying with her host family, and she’s attending school in person. She said she is very happy to be back on the Hill in time for the rest of the year. 

Zhou said she feels very safe at school. She said, “Cathedral’s one of the only schools open right now. It’s one of the best schools in Indiana (when it comes to dealing with Covid.”)