Friday, January 22News For London

Foreign students staying in London for Christmas break express why

The end of the lockdown approaching did not convince some foreign students to travel back. Seven out of ten interviewed told Westminster:World their decision to stay. Two of them have accepted to be featured on this article.

Safety as the first priority

Credit:Naima Tazergha

“My father is not well and it is crucial to protect him from covid-19, and there is always a risk for me to catch the virus while travelling and submitting it to him.”

Charlotte is from Stockholm in Sweden. She moved to London this Autumn to study her first year of Interior Design at Regent’s university.

As the government reached to students to encourage them going back home between the 3rd and 9th of December, some don’t even consider thinking about it.

She is young but knows the risk- the one of conveying the disease to her dad- already ill.

When asked about the massive covid-test delivered in universities before the end of term- Charlotte expounded her doubt about their accuracy.

Getting the pre-settled status for EU students

Surprisingly, being quarantined in London gives Charlotte some advantages.

As the effects of Brexit are coming up, EU students need to get their pre-settled status before December 31st of this year.

This Swedish student needs to abide by the law if she wants to finish her study experience in London.

Getting the pre-settled status gives the permission to study and work in the UK for the 5 years ahead.

“Although all of the education is done online this year, I still wanted to come here to get the London experience and be able to register for a pre-settled status before it was too late”, she told WestminsterWorld.

As we lived a challenging year, students seem to be the most impacted by the side effects of coronavirus: Loneliness, stress of not going back home or having to study alone cause anxiety.

A chance to explore London

Syed is studying at University college London, MSc Vibration engineering, Earthquake engineering and disaster management. Credit:Naima Tazergha

No matter the odds, this 26-year-old Indian student had one dream: living and studying in London.

As a full-grown man, he was aware that he had to wait in the wings as important things are hard to achieve and take time.

However, when he finally got an offer for a Masters degree at University College London, he realised he could strike gold as the Indian government accepted to give him financial support.

Right away, Syed knew he had to strike while the iron is hot. In fact, although the global pandemic was soaring, he refused to play the waiting game and went to push his luck.

Although concerned about safety, this was not the reason he did not go back to India- ”Even though I have a long 25 days Christmas break, I am not going to visit my family due to the limited operating flights but mostly I aim to get insights on the British culture and celebrate Christmas in London”- he confessed.

The love for the British capital surpasses his fear. But there is also the distance- originally from New Delhi- taking a nine-hour flight just for a three-week break was not worthy to him.

”While staying in London, my priorities are exploring London as I will have a lot of free time and there will be less people”, Syed added.