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How Has The Cost of Living Crisis been Affecting International Students?

The cost of living crisis has negatively been impacting students both mentally and academically. Why? This is because international students have been worried about how to feed themselves and pay the bills while also keeping up with Uni work. Additionally, students have been cutting on their groceries, social activities, and traveling so that they are able to pay for rent as well as bills that aren't included in their rental fees. On top of this, international students have experienced mental health issues such as anxiety and depression as they lack support from their families back in their home countries in monetary terms due to their budgets as well as economical situations.



Measures students have so far taken


Students have come to measures where they do not attend their mandatory lectures and seminars in order to swap their time for working extra hours to earn as much money as they can. A survey conducted by ONS stated that " More than three-quarters (77%) of students were concerned that the rising cost of living may affect how well they do in their studies, and nearly three in ten (29%) reported they were choosing to miss non-mandatory lectures or tutorials to save on costs", this is a major concern as international students are already paying high international fees for their chosen courses ranging around £16,500 compare to UK students who's fees range around £9,250.


Is the government helping international students?


So the question is: Are international students receiving any help from the UK government? And the answer to that is unlikely. Although UK students on low income have the eligibility for the cost of living crisis support package such as receiving a sum of money that goes towards their energy bill, however not everyone gets the benefit of it. Not only this, but home students both undergraduate and postgraduate have eligibility for the living expense support scheme, where they can get grants between £1,000 - £3,000 in order to live through the cost of living crisis. Maintenance loans also do not end up covering a student's monthly expenses therefore students rely on income from part-time jobs as it earns them at least £1,200 more than what they receive with the maintenance loan, and this gap is set to increase in the coming years up to a £2,000 gap.


Tips for students


If the government isn't helping international students as much as they are helping home students, what can students do to be able to attend Uni as well as maintain their hobbies and social activities? International students can find a part-time job to do over the weekend and even during weekdays when they do not have any lectures or seminars, they can also look for other ways to make money without having to work a job for example through paid online surveys or getting paid to watch videos and give feedbacks. In addition, there are loads of apps relating to how to budget and how to save money such as Monzo and Emma as well as the possibility to set up savings accounts alongside accounts where a certain budget can be frozen.


In order to have a good and successful budget, students can have a weekly expense budget including groceries, social activities if any, and travel, then set aside the amount they have budgeted as well as some extra sums of money for emergencies and set the rest in their savings account. Furthermore, international students should use their students discount where is possible to avoid paying the full price at a restaurant or at a clothing store. This will allow students to efficiently save money and spend as they would like. In addition, to setting a weekly budget students can contact their university about hardship funds, which are money that the university has set aside to help students who need cash urgently.


Conclusion


Lastly, international students should be allowed support packages through this cost of living crisis given how it is affecting their mental health as well as academic performance and considering factors such as their family situation and economical situation here in the UK as well as whether they have part-time jobs. My question to everyone is: Should international students be given additional support compared to UK home students so that they can survive this cost of living crisis?

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