Foreign students in Lund University suffering from starvation and
poverty – similar situation also experienced Sweden-wide
Thursday, 24 October 2013
There is a warning alarm that foreign students in Sweden are suffering
from extreme poverty - that some find it hard to even have food to eat.
According to education reports on radio Sweden on Thursday, there are
some foreign who are so poor that they cannot even afford food, a
counsellor at Lund University alerted. There is no help available from
either the municipality or university.
Radio Sweden catalogued 27-year-old Claudia (made up name) from Romania
studying in Lund struggling to get by economically – for some years
“It has been hard sometimes for money's not enough to do anything,” says Claudia to radio Sweden.
She is a master degree student at Lund University and since she comes
from a EU country, she does not pay the high tuition fees recently
enacted as other students from so-called third country do. But Claudia
still has it had to manage the “very expensive” cost of Swedish living
and the high cost of studies in Swedish universities. She has only been
able to buy the most vital necessities and sometimes is forced to skip
She is not alone in being short of money. Sahar Valizadeh a counsellor
at Lund University has met a dozen of foreign students who have been
seeking help with money in recent years.
Sahar Valizadeh says that looking at some of the students, one notice
how they are getting thinner and thinner without doing any extra work.
It becomes very clear that it is not just about stress but dues to lack
of enough food.
Whether they come from the EU or outside the EU, international students
are generally not entitled to Swedish student financial support -
something they cannot get as long as they remain here as students. Even
the universities cannot do so much to help those who are in crisis,
according to Sahar Valizadeh, reports radio Sweden.
The radio reports that the Swedish national student unions have been
contacting other parts of the country and it is confirmed that they
also have to deal with similar cases with foreign students who have
lived on the margins. Also, several educational institutions recognize
the picture, although they do not say they see an increase in the
Students usually have money from the beginning of their studies but it
run out in due to various internal and external factors. Family
relationships can change e.g., a good uncle who promised to help with
the money can change his mind later and the international student will
fall flat. They have no other option as Sweden remains a desert – wit
limited support to such students. It is not clear if some have tried to
get some part time work here and there and have failed.
Despite the problems, Claudia feels that there is no need to feel sorry
for her and is happy to study in Sweden, but she wants the university
to be able to provide some form of support to students who might fall
Should the university be able to look into such situation, it might
assist attract more student here as they would not that the university
is not only for the money and teaching but also for the students
By Scancomark.com Team
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