Student from South Korea gets a ride to Grand Forks airport after he's able to secure a flight.

With the University of Minnesota Crookston campus closed for the rest of spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic and classes being conducted online through the end of the semester, efforts continue to assist as many students living in residence halls on campus as possible in returning home, if they’re able and that’s an option for them.


Some of the most concerted efforts involve international students. UMN Crookston Study Abroad Coordinator Rae French, with the help of some of her colleagues, continues to shuttle international students who have been able to make arrangements to return to their home countries to airports in Fargo and Grand Forks.


One of those students is junior accounting major Minu Kim of South Korea, who’s in his first year at UMN Crookston. After enduring several cancelled flights, Kim on Thursday was able to secure a flight from Grand Forks International Airport to Los Angeles, and from there he was to catch a connecting flight to South Korea. 


Michelle Christopherson, UMN Crookston director of outreach and engagement, picked Kim up at Centennial Hall on campus and accompanied him to the airport in Grand Forks.


Kim, who said he was last home in August 2019, said he was looking forward to returning to South Korea and some warmer weather. He noted that the temperature in Busan, close to where he lives, was around 60 degrees. But, he added, he’d rather remain in Crookston to finish out the semester.


Kim said he’s hoping to return to Crookston later this summer to enroll in fall semester classes on campus. He said he feels pretty comfortable finishing out this semester’s classes online; he was planning to connect with his professors via email to let them know he was able to get a flight home and get guidance from them on how to deal with the logistics involving online coursework from South Korea, 14 time zones away.


Christopherson, who in a previous position at UMN Crookston led its online degree programs, assured Kim that the logistics surrounding the online delivery of his coursework will be tailored toward convenience along with a high-quality academic experience.