The pandemic brought a great wave of changes especially for the international students in the USA. The challenges that they faced were much magnified as they were isolated in a place with only mobile contact with their dear ones and no actual support.
Many institutions fear that their students might have been facing issues beyond just financial crisis. The major worry this year all over the globe was how to maintain a sane mind while being confined in a space.
The worries did not stop there. There was a high of the legislation to take a stand against OPT to be removed. This was vehemently met by people and was finally forced not to implement.
Challenges for International Students in United States:
Let us look into some of the major challenges faced by international students:
1. Financial Crisis
This aspect of challenges was especially faced by international students living in the USA during the Pandemic situation. When the pandemic hit without a precondition and left no options for many throughout the globe, it hit these students.
Many of these students are dependent on their sponsors or family for their sustenance. But with the pandemic came a sinking situation for these sponsors, which caused much trouble for all students dependent on them for living.
Also, the pandemic brought a decision among many institutes to shut down offline teaching and take up online teaching. This move closed many of the options for those students who were employed on campus in various fields.
As many students face financial crises, they started moving out of their rental houses or started stopping services that needed a good amount of money to be maintained. Thankfully, many campuses came up with campus housing and provision of resources such as networking, etc. which were not dependent on monetary factors helped the students cope up much better in these hard times.
2. Job Crisis
The entire global village faced an economic meltdown with the onset of COVID-19. The companies started losing their trade value. People started to panic and pulling back their assets which lead to a further deterioration of the already sick economy.
In the wake of these slumping monetary graphs, companies started laying off people. Once again, the crowd that was one among the most affected ones was the international students.
Many faced the problems of being laid off. Some who were working were asked to work lesser work hours. This brought in constant fear of accruing unemployment days for themselves. If no action is taken, then this might lead to the deportation of the student to their native country.
The decrease in pay was also observed in many cases. Though this meant that the ones working had a lower capita for the resources they used, they at least had something in their hand.
In the midst of this came a move from the government that could probably have tilted the entire international student’s interest in coming towards the USA for higher education. This quasi move was the abolishment of OPT jobs. Luckily, with many universities speaking for these students, this was stopped in time.
The major reason for pulling this ‘legislation’ was the worry that US citizens won’t get any jobs if international students started working in the USA. It turned out to be baseless as reports stated otherwise that this step could have caused the plummeting economy to flatten out and might have taken a long time to recover.
3. Limited Availability of Services
With the switching that the universities and colleges started adopting to move from class education to online class education, it was appreciated by many in various communities.
But with this move came another worry, the seclusion of many individuals who studied in these institutes. As these students were stranded at their places. Institutes started recognizing the deteriorating mental health conditions among various students.
It was tough to provide service to help this massive influx of students with many worries in their heads. The support system available was not able to cope up with these stats.
In addition to this, due to financial constraints, many students were not able to come up with proper dietary requirements and many had to leave their living spaces. Many campuses tried to solve this by providing food stamps and campus housing to help as many as possible.
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2020 was a year of many worries for everyone. People all around the world faced a lot of problems ranging from mental health situations to financial troubles. Many countries adopted lockdown. Many companies adopted layoffs.
Trouble brewed all around the corner. We hope that 2021 brings warmth and a safe place for all. International students have started coping up in a good manner and have started finding a stabilized base in their places wherever they are.
Max Troy is the Career Counsellor as well as a passionate Author. Well, he has years of experience in the Career and Jobs industry. As a part of his career at OPTnation, he helped various OPT and CPT candidates to shape their Career. Through his knowledge and writing skill, he is contributing to the students to find the best Career advice and immigration topics. Do share the information if you like it.