CHARLOTTE, N.C. — International student enrollment increased this year at Queens University in Charlotte after dropping last year.


What You Need To Know

International student enrollment dropped 43% in the fall of 2020

Pandemic-related restrictions and issues getting student visas were factors in the drop

Nearly 200 international students enrolled for fall 2021; an increase from fall 2020


Elvis Menayese, a senior at Queens, is one of a few dozen international students who abruptly left in spring 2020 when the university shut down for the pandemic. Menayese flew back home to Wales and attended virtual classes on a five-hour time difference.

“I was having classes at 10 p.m.,” Menayese said. “So that was very challenging.”

International student enrollment dropped 43% for the fall 2020 semester because of pandemic restrictions and issues getting visas, according to a survey by the Institute of International Education.

Menayese, who returned in January 2021, says it’s a shame because a lot of his friend want to study abroad in the United States.

“They love how America is, how open it is, how the university system works,” Menayese said. “Obviously the pandemic has dampened things, but they’re really looking forward to getting back out here and explore what America has to offer.”

Officials at Queens University say enrollment is bouncing back to pre-pandemic numbers.

Since vaccines and masks are required for students on-campus, Menayese is looking forward to a fresh start this year.

“The school has made me feel very comfortable,” Menayese said. “They put a lot of precautions in place, a lot of people are starting to get vaccinated… so that helps massively going forward. That brings my comfort levels extremely up.”

Nearly 200 international students are enrolled for the fall 2021 semester, but a few of them may need to defer if they don’t their visas in time.

Classes began at Queens University Monday, August 30.