Chinese exchange student stranded in U.S. a year ago, now back as Calvary Christian School student

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Wednesday was the first day back in class for one Columbus private school.

And WRBL News 3 found a familiar face on the Calvary Christian School campus. Abraham Li was a Chinese exchange student we first met in January of 2020, where he and a group of his classmates were stuck in the U.S. because of the coronavirus.

Travel had been halted to China and their two week trip to America turned into two months, much of it spent here in Columbus.

On March 13th. as the COVID crisis was beginning to hit the U.S. hard, I interviewed Li. It was the day before they were going home.

His advice to U.S. students about to deal with what he had been coping with for more than two months: “Don’t panic. And treat people nicer. Don’t just reject them because they might have the disease. And work together to fight against it.”

I thought that would be the last we would see of Abraham. Not so. He’s one of four Chinese exchange students enrolled at Calvary Christian.

“My family’s thought process was we really desire and want to hold on to this opportunity to be an exchange student in the U.S.,” he said Wednesday. “And all we can do about the virus is protect ourselves and protect others with our best effort.”

The 15-year-old Li in a sophomore at Calvary. Last year, he did his studies online in his Bejing home.

“I stayed at home taking CRC courses,” he said. “So, it’s been rough. It’s been really rough staying at home by myself.”

What does that mean?

“That means I will get more chance to cooperate and socialize with others, which is something I have been seeking for over a year.”

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