International Education at the Coronavirus Crossroads

Deborah N. Cohn & Hilary E. Kahn:

Who would have imagined, when in fall of 2018 we co-organized a bicentennial symposium on international education at Indiana University, that we would now be in the middle of a global pandemic that is creating one of the direst situations that international education has ever faced. 
Heartened by the response to the symposium, we co-edited an anthology on international education at the crossroads,1 that brought together symposium participants as well as other leaders in the field.  
Not long after we submitted the manuscript to the press, the COVID-19 pandemic began, shuttering schools and universities in the brick and mortar sense across the globe. In the ensuing weeks, travel restrictions imploded international mobility, research came to a screeching halt, and K-20 school closures affected over 90% of all enrolled learners—more than 1.5 billion students—across the globe.2  Some international students returned home, but not all had the means or desire to do so. Students studying abroad and faculty doing research were called home. Scholar exchange came to a standstill. Embassies and consulates around the world shuttered their doors and cancelled all basic operations. Mobility was and still is in suspended animation.