Call for blog contributions

As of January 2020, there were about 5.3 million international students worldwide, many whom are now impacted by the global outbreak of COVID-19. Study abroad and exchange programmes were suspended. International students were recalled and sent home. Universities are scrambling to cope with the shift towards online and remote learning. Existing international students have to navigate multiple challenges associated with closures of campuses, loss of student jobs, visa control measures, and the rise of xenophobia and racism. Young people in education are forced to make difficult decisions regarding their international study and career plans in a time of great uncertainty.

International students in different parts of the world have been struck hard by the pandemic-driven tightening of border management, causing them to be stranded and left in a state of limbo. Caught in the midst of visa regulations and lack of financial support which are compounded by a sense of alienation in host societies, international students are some of the hardest-hit young people during this current pandemic. The impact on international students and young people in education at large is long-lasting, given the likelihood of a string of border controls to regulate immigration and emigration in a more restrictive and selective manner. Additionally, the impacts experienced across various student communities and cohorts are differentiated and with consequences on uneven capacities for a rebound. What does educational life look like in a world of the pandemic for mobile students?

If you are an international student currently enrolled in tertiary education or a young person with overseas study plans, from and in the Asia-Pacific, please consider writing a blog entry for ISM.VOICES, a feature section of COVIDISM.


Illustration: Feng Yikang,

ISM.VOICES is looking for international students and youths with overseas study plans, from and in the Asia-Pacific, to share their experiences and reflections about the current COVID-19 situation in the form of blog contributions. Contributors will choose from one of the following themes:

  • Mobility and travel
  • Livelihoods and wellbeing
  • Education and learning

This space will document the diverse voices of international students and young people from and in various parts of the Asia-Pacific world, serving as a window to understanding international student mobilities in a time of the pandemic.

Blog format:

(a) Blogs (Length not exceeding 800 words)

(b) Photo Essays

  • Include these details: the selected theme, a blog title, 3 keywords, and a short bio (50 words +/-) as well as your affiliation, email contact and, if any, twitter handle.
  • Referencing: Acknowledge all ideas and works that inform your writing, but keep these to a minimal. Hyperlink cited works to their original sources.
  • Use of images: Having images help enliven the blog. If you decide to use images, please ensure that they do not infringe on copyright issues.
  • Language: Use non-discriminatory language to address and describe all people, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious identification, age, and physical or intellectual characteristics.


  • You are welcome to contribute a blog identified under a pseudonym so as to remain anonymous. Please get in touch to discuss this possibility. Your identity will be kept confidential with the editorial team.

Submissions will be received and published on a continuing basis. Please email to 

Your blog entry will be featured in a new section on this website and shared extensively via Twitter, and may also be featured on Asia Research Institute’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram).

The content of your blog entry will be copyrighted under the Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

ISM.VOICES is a feature section of COVIDISM, a digital initiative hosted by the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The views expressed at COVIDISM are contributors’ personal opinions, and not representative of the views of ARI or NUS.

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