Homeland strife can keep foreign students from studies

Tim Goral's picture

In the pivotal final months before he finishes his doctorate, Jose Clavijo has found himself too distracted to work.

The 31-year-old University of Florida student is one of more than 6,000 Venezuelans now studying at a university in the United States. As his home country has erupted with anti-government protests that have turned violent, his mind is sometimes more focused on unrest than agronomy.

"I'm writing a dissertation, and I've spent a ridiculous amount of time on Twitter and going to bed very late catching up on the news," Clavijo said. "Just knowing so many students are out there protesting and getting detained, beaten or killed, it's very hard being here."

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