Students living abroad for academic purposes don’t have an easy life. Now, the Coronavirus has only added to their problems. They have lost part-time jobs due to lockdown rules, they depended upon for additional income. This could cut short the academic careers of many of these students.
Arun Kumar who works as the chef of the Hotel Four Season in Dallas, Texas explained the situation. He said, “Colleges and schools are unsure whether they should resume academic sessions or not. Taking everything online is not possible. Overseas’ students are now facing a double whammy – they do not have classes to attend. On top of that, owing to the pandemic they cannot even they take up part-time jobs. Students are struggling to pay all their bills since there are no jobs.”
He added, “Before pandemic people worked in offices but now, most are working from home. Companies are gaining out of this scenario, since they do not have to incur office rents or pay travel allowances to employees. With job cuts, a stark truth in these challenging times, the employees too can do little.”
“Corporates are now thinking of hiring people from countries like India and China where the cost of living is less. Paying them a little less for the same job is also an opportunity for companies to survive the economic downturn. In this scenario, job opportunities have dried up and students are having a difficult time for extra money,” Arun added.
Hetal, a student of Florida Tech USA said, “This new change of norms for non-immigrant student visas will hit majority of international students.”
She cited a number of reasons for this:
1. A majority of the students are from developing countries like India, China, Nigeria and Africa. They have taken big loans to finance their education in the USA. Because of the new visa norm, they may have to return to their countries, and face the risk of not being able to repay their loans.
2. New temporary restrictions will force international students to think twice before heading to USA for higher studies.
This will also snatch opportunity from bright students of developing countries to compete around the globe. However, on the flip side, this visa policy will stem the brain drain from countries like India.
Shubham, a recent graduated student from the USA said “The grass is always green on the other side. With every passing day, getting a visa for education as well as part-time jobs are getting tougher, and living is becoming costlier in the USA. COVID-19 and changing political scenario here have only added to our woes.”
Shubham was the president of the students’ association from India during his college days. He said that if the situation does not improve and all classes are conducted online, students will have to return to their homelands. He added, “Students, whose courses have ended will now have to go back to their countries within 60 days, if they don’t get a job within that period. The visa restrictions are here, and these are likely to increase in the future.