International students’ lives are terrible because of high rents, a lack of employment opportunities, tuition fees that are three times more than those for domestic students, a shortage of available housing, and as if that weren’t bad enough, inflation and steadily rising costs in the UK.
Let’s see what the different students studying abroad have to say.
Wishing they could have stayed back in India
Many people wish to return home but are unable to since they have committed their time, money, and resources to a course. Dharin Patel, who has come to complete his post-graduation in cyber security from a London University, stated, “I just feel that I should go back to India.”
To pay for his education and the initial cost of living, he took out a loan of approximately Rs 32 to 35 lakh, but the costs were so high that he had to beg for help from home. Dharin continued, “My rent is 700 pounds, and there are also expenses like transport, food, and a phone. I had to call my parents for money.
Dharin and another student share a tiny room because of the exorbitant rent. He is compelled to avoid using bags because the room is so little that a double mattress barely fits in it. It also has a small, improvised fabric drawer that barely has place for his things. Not by himself, Dharin. There are countless people like him. According to a UK website devoted to higher education, the country from which the most students travel to study is India, not China.
Is studying abroad a golden dream or doom?
The YouTube films that made the UK seem like a country of opportunity and promised the world inspired Dharin to travel there, despite the fact that reality was far different.
Even the local community is struggling to put two square meals on the table due to the rising expense of living. Even though they already pay more for their education than domestic students, overseas students still need to minimise costs to make ends meet.
I used to drink and eat fruit every day back home, but now I can only afford one meal, said Sonal, a Westminster University data analytics student.
Sonal set out to locate a job as soon as her morning lessons were over. Most students now include knocking on doors at stores, eateries, motels, supermarkets, and other locations in their daily routine.
What is the UK government doing for the foreign students?
In September 2019, the UK unveiled the “graduate route,” a post-study work visa that enables overseas students, including those from India, to work or hunt for job for two years in any career or position of their choice.
But this is true for everyone. The world’s new strike capital is in Britain. The majority of the public services in London, including transit, nurses, doctors, and teachers, are failing due to the high cost of living and energy crises, but the situation is even worse for overseas students. First, compared to domestic students, international students must pay approximately three times as much in tuition. Second, while the 20-hour workweek is a good allowance, there aren’t enough part-time jobs available. The cause is that employers prefer to offer full-time employment and are hesitant to offer part-time jobs.
Winding it up
More than any other country in the world, the UK attracts the most Indian immigrants each year, whether they are students or job seekers.
The Rishi Sunak government recently announced that Master’s students would not be permitted to bring in dependents from 2024 unless it is a research course, which has caused uncertainty for students in the UK, according to several students.
Add to this the boycotts and academic strikes from this year, as well as the 66 percent rise in visa fees in June. Millions of students were affected by the twelve-day strikes by university unions that took place in March and May.