Hatfield teenager packs bags for potential flight home to Peru with few hours notice
PUBLISHED: 10:32 16 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 16 April 2020
A teenager from Peru might be able to find a flight back home with as little as five hours notice.
University of Hertfordshire student Victor-Andres Zejara, from Lima, was enjoying his first year of business studies when the coronavirus crisis hit.
Now, the 18-year-old is trapped over 6,000 miles away from his family waiting for a flight from London – which would mean travelling by train from Hatfield – that might never come.
His mother Maria, a lawyer in Lima, told the WHT that she feels nervous and worried about him there by himself in his halls.
“My friends say he will be safer than in Peru as it’s better in Hatfield, a quiet university town, and it’s better to stay in his room than travel.”
She has so far been in contact with the Peruvian embassy in London, who have told her that a flight could be available but they do not know when that would be.
Peru is also on lockdown and has had over 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, nearly 3,000 recoveries and over 230 deaths.
Maria said: “Its a very hard situation. The virus has changed everything. We now have to understand that the world won’t be the same.”
The mother of two, who has another son Juan Diego, 14, said she is not yet certain if she will send Victor Andres back to the university again.
“I don’t know what we’re going to decide about the next semester,” she continued.
“I had reserved another room for him and in June we have to pay for the next academic year.
“I hope they organise some online classes for international students.”
Maria also said that regular contact by Deb Thompson from the Hatfield Harrier Helpers group has really helped calm her down about the situation.
“She has offered any help he needs. She’s such as beautiful person.”
Around 13 per cent of students at the university are from outside the UK and the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) has warned that as many as 80 to 100 per cent students might not apply abroad.
Minister of State for Universities Michelle Donelan MP, wrote a letter to all international students on Thursday, April 9, reassuring them that they will help them during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It also offered help and guidance in relation to staying at the university accommodation.
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