As Biden lifts the national travel ban opening the U.S. - Mexican border, LSU students who haven't seen family in almost two years get excited for the holidays.

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The U.S. on Monday lifted a pandemic travel ban on international visitors from more than 30 countries after 19 months. The previous travel ban not only affected those over 1,000 miles away, but also several LSU students.

LSU is home to many international students, especially those from Mexico. Sophomore Maria Solis brought to light how difficult studying in a different country can truly be.

“It’s not as easy for international students, we can’t just go home for the weekend,” Solis said.

Many like Solis have voiced the issues that the previous travel ban caused within their lives. Most have not seen their immediate families in almost two years, causing some to miss out on important life events. 

Two students from Mexico explained that they have missed weddings, funerals, and even graduations - or what they sum up to be “memories they will never get back.” However, relief has been a common expression of many Mexico native students towards Biden's initiative to lift the ban. 

With the holidays coming up, international students say they plan to take full advantage of the new travel requirements as soon as the semester ends.

The freedom this legislation has created does not stop with international students. For students like Kenzie Melton, opportunities once at risk by COVID are now in full swing. Kenzie along with 44 other students from the Baptist Collegiate Ministry are approved to offer mission relief in Mexico this December.

Opening the U.S - Mexico border has closed the door on many fears, heart -aches and lost experiences. After almost two years, LSU students can peacefully leave the country, without worry of their ability to re-enter.

The new rules replacing the ban require international visitors to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test. Exceptions include travelers under 18 and those traveling from countries with low vaccine availability.