Permanent Va-cat-ion

Adopting a pet while living on campus is something a lot of college students do to have a companion when they’re alone or just as another friendly, drooling face to have around the house. Some college students even bring their pets from home to college with them because who would want to leave that cute, furry face alone all year when you’re away? But there are some students who don’t have the pleasure of bringing their pet from home with them to college. Those are the international students. After doing some research, I discovered that most international students do not have pets while being in college. Why is this? Well, international students have to leave to go back to their country a lot and can’t always take animals with them. This leaves the animal homeless for long amounts of time (unless they find someone to take care of it). Most students are also very busy and a lot of the time, we can’t find the time to give a pet the attention it deserves.

After reading many stories about international students adopting pets, I realized most of them have pets at home that they can’t bring to college with them. I was talking to my classmate Xiangxiang (Jade) Luo, an international student from China, about her experience with pets in the U.S.

“I actually have to pets at home, a Tabby cat and a hamster,” said Luo. “I have pets back in China, but I couldn’t bring them with me to college, but I really love animals. I knew as soon as I got here I wanted to adopt more animals.”

I was curious how she went about doing this since she told me she adopted them almost immediately when she got here.

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“The last owner of the Tabby had to move back to China and her brother in allergic to cat fur so she could not take the cat back with her,” Luo explained. “She was my friend, so I adopted him and now he lives in a house of four so there is always someone to take care of him.”

I was curious if this experience was similar to any of my other international friends, so I sat down and talked to my friend and sorority sister, Fasia Faley, an international student from England.

“I have a little puppy I had to leave at home when I came to Purdue,” she said. “It was the hardest thing I had to do when coming here.”

I asked her if she considered adopting another pet while she was here.

“I live in the dorms and there are no pets allowed in them, which really stinks,” Faley said. “In London you are allowed to have pets in the dorms. I definitely would have brought my dog here with me if we were allowed.”

If they are allowed to have pets in European school dorms, then why can’t we have them here?

Talking to my friends really enlightened me about why international students choose to have pets. If I were in a foreign country and didn’t know anyone, I probably would adopt a pet too. So maybe the next time you leave college for the summer, try to find an international student who might still be taking classes and ask if they would like to foster your pet for a couple months. It’s hard to say no to a cute furry face.

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