Maybe paying 3 times a Dutch student’s fees whilst having to live in a literal tent isn’t the University dream that was promised
The Interurban Student Consultation (ISO) and the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) have released a report saying that International students get a rough deal, as anyone that has been an International student in the last five years can attest.
Chairman of the Interurban Student Consultation (ISO) Dahran Çoban: “We have seen for years that international students run into many problems and little effort is being made to solve them. Dutch society and educational institutions are benefiting from the talent and tuition fees of these students, but are not making any efforts to actually support these students. That is why we call on the ministry and the institutions to no longer forget students in the internationalization battle of higher education.”
Housing, housing, housing
An annual problem for international students is poor information and substandard housing facilities. Students have great difficulty in finding a home and face discrimination and scams, a result of a problematic mix of housing shortage and poor expectations management. For example, a third of the international students surveyed have had to deal with a rejection of a home because they are an international.
Lyle Muns, chairman of the LSVb: “We are bringing international students to the Netherlands en masse, but then we also have to provide an affordable roof over their heads and combat discrimination. Slum landlords are still too often taking advantage of the vulnerable position of international students.”
‘Speak Dutch, but learn yourself’
International students also point to problems with the ability to master the Dutch language. Students have insufficient possibilities to master the Dutch language and therefore miss out on interaction with Dutch students and job opportunities. Rik Peelen, board member of ESN The Netherlands: “We think it is important that institutions offer accessible Dutch language courses for international students. Mastering the Dutch language gives students a good basis for interaction with fellow students and more opportunities on the labor market. ”
The main concern that student organizations have in this crisis is the mental well-being of international students. More than half of the respondents have experienced (a lot) of stress, loneliness and psychological problems since September.
About 25 percent of International Students have experienced ‘little or no feelings of joy’ in last year
Almost a quarter of the students experience little or no feelings of joy in this academic year. Dahran Çoban, president of the ISO: “We are very shocked by the answers that have been filled in, many international students are on the verge of collapse. They need help and do not receive it enough from their studies. We still have to change that before the summer. ”