International Students Heading to California Colleges Navigate Vaccine, Visa Hurdles

A growing list of California colleges will require students to get COVID-19 vaccinations as classes largely resume in-person this fall. For the roughly 160,000 international college students enrolled in California, the mandate introduces a new layer of complexity: Will the vaccines offered in their home countries be accepted in the Golden State?

The answer for an increasing number of campuses that plan to require vaccination is a partial yes. The University of California, which enrolls nearly 40,000 students from overseas, on Tuesday said in its draft policy that it will accept international vaccines approved for emergency use by the World Health Organization. That aligns the 10-campus system with some other institutions in the state, including the California Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California, which enrolls over 10,000 international students.

The policy at the California State University, the system of choice for about 13,000 international students, is still under development, said spokesperson Toni Molle. Stanford University said the same.

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