Two International Students Receive Competitive COVID-19 Scholarships

June 8, 2020
By: Kristen O'Reilly

Two international students, Nhu Le ’22 and Exploit Ndaie ’23, recently received grants from the Institute of International Education’s Emergency Student Fund: Covid-19 Response to help them remain in the country and study at Worcester State this summer. The highly competitive grant was awarded to only 309 students out of 1,400 who applied nationwide.

Le, a chemistry major from Vietnam, said in her application that if she had to return home this summer to Vietnam, she would have difficulty getting back into the United States due to the visa process and her family’s finances.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my parents have been staying at home and making no income. I will be enrolled full-time in Fall 2020, and due to the family’s financial situation now, it is hard for my family to support all the living expenses and tuition fees at the same time. Therefore, by receiving assistance to help to cover my living expenses this summer, I would be able to enroll full-time in the fall semester,” said Le in her application.

Le says she is hoping to spend her summer conducting research in the lab of Assistant Professor Weichu Xu, Ph.D., of the Department of Chemistry. The goal of the research is to create a new compound by modifying the existing natural antibacterial compound Thelavins. The labs are not fully open yet, but she is hopeful they will be open in some capacity over the summer.

In his application, Ndaie, a business major from the Democratic Republic of Congo, wrote, “Due to the pandemic I lost my job on campus and I cannot work outside the campus. My parents in my home country are also affected by the COVID-19 and have difficulty working and sending money to me and my siblings. We are struggling to cover basic needs because the money in our savings should allow us to enroll for the fall semester. I have two siblings also studying at WSU and it has become very difficult for my family to continue to support us.”

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