Foreign students: living conditions at closed motel not typical

Foreign students who were staying at a Myrtle Beach motel that was shut down have found new places to live.

Part of the Calypso Motor Inn was closed by the Myrtle Beach fire marshal Monday because of overcrowding and lack of smoke detectors.

The Calypso's owner says he's had foreign students stay at his motel in past years without a problem, but one group this year trashed the property.

"Never experienced this before. They drink up until 4, 5 o'clock in the morning, throwing chairs in the pool, taking smoke detectors from the rooms," said Yehuda Sadeh.

Sadeh adds if the rooms were overcrowded, it was the students' choice. He says they could have taken other rooms.

The students deny partying all night or trashing the rooms.

"No, he give us a curfew of one o'clock, we went inside at one o'clock," said Martin Redington of Galway, Ireland.

The foreign students are on the Grand Strand to work for the summer under J1 or H-2B visas.

Local employers love the program and for the most part, the students say it's a great experience.

"We love it here and we have loved it up until now. We still want to stay," said Olwyn Mealy of Cork, Ireland.

One landlord who took in some of those displaced from the Calypso told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that in his experience, the foreign students are mostly good kids who are sometimes taken advantage of.

One student agrees.

"You don't really look forward to coming home after work," said Redington. "You look forward to seeing the people, but you don't look forward to the conditions you're living in."

Mealy says other landlords have been good to them and the conditions at the Calypso were not typical.

"Oh, I'd recommend anyone to come over and work here as we've been doing and we've had so much fun and we love working here."

Late Tuesday, Myrtle Beach fire marshal Bruce Arnel said the Calypso's owner complied with the fire department's order for additional smoke detectors in two buildings on his property, but the rest of the motel will remain closed until more work is done.

Arnel added the foreign students bear some responsibility for their situation, because those from the same country all want to live together and there aren't many properties that can take in 100 or 200 at a time, so they have limited choices.