The Logistics of International Student Arrivals in American Schools | 2 Min Read

Throughout the summer and the fall of 2020, it has been a challenge for all schools to repopulate their campuses. In addition to state requirements, local conditions, and parent concerts, boarding schools with international students face additional challenges to get students back on campus. The primary issues are twofold: new students acquiring visa appointments, and travel restrictions for students entering the United States from certain countries (e.g. China). Not much can be done by a school for visa appointments, as embassy offices remain open, closed, or with limited appointments based on the local conditions in the foreign country. The second problem, that of travel restrictions for certain countries like students traveling from China, does have a solution: the third-country entry. 

In late October, Thomas Jefferson School organized and chaperoned a trip to Mexico in order to help students arrive back on campus. The plan came about because families did not want to navigate their own third-country entry plans, and because of skepticism about changes to travel restrictions in the near future. 

Third-country entry for students is necessary because anyone entering the US from restricted countries, like China, must spend 14 calendar days in a third country that does not…

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Matthew Troutman

Matthew Troutman has been Head of School at Thomas Jefferson School since July 1, 2020. He has served on Thomas Jefferson’s faculty since 2011, most recently as director of teaching and learning. Previously, he served as associate director of academics, chair of the mathematics department and assistant college counselor. He also serves on Thomas Jefferson’s committee on diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice; the admissions and enrollment committee; and the student travel committee. He founded the school’s robotics team and has coached varsity girls’ soccer and junior varsity boys’ soccer. Troutman received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Roanoke College, a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics from Clemson University, and a master’s degree in education from the Klingenstein Center for Independent School Leadership at Teachers College at Columbia University.