Have you been forgotten, too?

| Lisa Waldera

Lisa Waldera (24) is a master’s student Communication Studies from Bremen, Germany. For three years now, she’s been living on campus. Next to her study, she regularly visits the cinema and enjoys concerts of all music genres. Every other week she writes about her life at the University of Twente.

Photo by: Annabel Jeuring

I feel forgotten as an international student in the Netherlands. I do not have access to Studiefinanciering. I do not have a student OV. There is no financial support for me during the corona crisis. There are no occasional jobs available. While international students in Germany have access to financial support that does not even have to be paid back at the moment, I cannot even have an extra loan here. I understand that every country takes care of their own citizens first. But this is nothing new. The support was always missing. Is it not the time yet to think about supporting all the people that are bringing money into the country? People that follow the large advertisement campaigns for studying in the Netherlands?

I understand that people are worrying about different things now that the virus has reached the UT. But another forgotten group are students who recently graduated. Freelancers. Companies. Restaurants. Families. Elderly. All of them cried out during the corona crisis and received (financial) support. Even the farmers are still protesting despite never presenting any kind of solution. But have you heard about the young people who are having almost no perspective of finding a job? They are left with the choice to move back in at their parents or apply for unemployment benefits. Just to clarify why it is not a great option to be officially unemployed in Enschede: mandatory number of applications per week (despite corona), coaching for how to apply for jobs and how to be dressed appropriately for a job interview, discussing your monthly finances and what you spend your money on.

All of this makes me want to stay a student for as long as possible during this crisis and the following economic recession. Oh right. I do not qualify for any support as an international student here. Neither in the Netherlands, nor in my home country. While you might expect a GoFundMe campaign next, I would like to wish everyone a nice summer vacation! To all the students writing their theses over the summer: Hang in there! To all the students living at the Hogekamp: Hang in there too!

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