Hatfield student stuck in Japan after breaking leg worried there could be no flight home

PUBLISHED: 07:36 13 August 2020

Suzie, a lingustics student at the University of Hertfordshire, after breaking her leg. Picture: Supplied by Suzie

Suzie, a lingustics student at the University of Hertfordshire, after breaking her leg. Picture: Supplied by Suzie

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A 23-year-old student at the University of Hertfordshire is very worried that she may not be able to grab a flight home.

Suzie, a lingustics student at the University of Hertfordshire, after breaking her leg. Picture: Supplied by SuzieSuzie, a lingustics student at the University of Hertfordshire, after breaking her leg. Picture: Supplied by Suzie

Suzie’s foreign exchange from Hatfield to Japan was going well until the coronavirus hit and then flight after flight became cancelled to London.

So she booked a flight for August hoping that once everything dies down then she could return to the UK but then the company stopped her flight and refunded her – after she launched a social media storm against the airline.

“It’s ridiculous. This and other airlines show departures online but in reality there are no flights.”

She also needs a reliable flight with a smooth connection, where she can store her diabetic mediation safely, as she does not want to take the chance that her medical supplies could be lost.

Added to the linguistics student’s troubles, she also broke her leg after being hit by a car and is now limping around.

“I’m disabled and I can’t get back and I’m stuck in a foreign country.”

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If this was not enough, Suzie has Portuguese citizenship – not British – so she cannot directly apply to the foreign office to help her secure a flight home under an emergency flight scheme.

“I can’t speak Portuguese as I’ve never lived there and my mum wanted me to learn English.”

She added: “When I got hit by the car. I also couldn’t work teaching English, which was how I was paying my bills.

“I don’t have any savings. I have not much left and I need to pay for medical expenses.”

She hopes that the money from the car accident could help her cover her bills but only just as she has missed a lot of work.

“My visa also expires on September 25 so that will mean I will have to leave but the University here has been amazing. They’ve said they will help me with accommodation.”

However, apart from the stress of returning Suzie says its been “very relaxed” in Japan with a minimal lockdown, no toilet paper crisis and very few deaths compared to the UK.

“So I think the coronavirus pandemic has not really affected Japan. People are still going out to work here.”

Her only hope left could be appealing to the Portuguese embassy in Japan to send her to Portugal so that she can then return to the UK and self-isolate for 14 days.


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