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International Students facing problems during COVID-19

Students overall have been facing problems because of COVID-19, due to lack of activities, online exams, added stress and anxiety that comes with anxiety, and other mental health issues.

There are even more worries for some than other. Especially for international students around the country, who make up around 20% of total students, as they have been struggling to finance their rent, utilities, and even food. Fortunately for local students, the monthly payments from the government haven't stopped amid the coronavirus outbreak. But International students are left on their own without any financial support.

A number of Internationals work part-time jobs during their studies to support themselves to pay rent, utilities and groceries. However, with the outbreak, most of these jobs have vanished and have left most of the International students in trouble.

The sponsors back home, usually parents, would support us during hard times but they have been equally or even worse impacted by the outbreak so that last resort is not there anymore. This combined with significant currency devaluation due to COVID-19 in some countries makes it almost impossible to arrange funds.

Financing is not the only issue, being so far away from home has its own problems, especially on mental health. During this outbreak, being far away from our loved ones makes it even harder to survive. However, video conferencing family and friends helps a lot and university's student union provides various activities to take part in activities online which can be very useful in tackling loneliness and mental health issues.

On the other hand, there are a number of international students still staying in the UK. Some of them are forced to stay away from home due to the COVID-19 situation back in their home countries. For example, no international arrivals or flights open. That means these students will be alone here at their university or private accommodation, feeling homesick and lonely, especially under this lockdown period. Support from their universities and local communities is essential to enhance the quality of life for International students as well as mental stability.

Article written by:

Raja Asad

NWAMI volunteer and an International Student at Bangor University

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