I have friends from Kazakhstan who are now studying at universities in Germany. They, like me, have a hard time in the current situation with the virus. My acquaintance, Aika, is studying as a psychologist in the third year of a college of medicine nursing. And it really worries me. Because, studying at a university is a stress in itself. And when, you have financial difficulties, it is two times that stress. It’s not easy for everyone now, but foreign youth have a doubly hard time.
How does Germany help foreign students during the coronavirus crisis?
Starting in June 2020, foreign students can apply for an interest-free loan from the state support bank Förderbank KfW and receive from July 2020 to March 2021 inclusively 650 euros per month (maximum amount). You can find out about the conditions for obtaining a loan on the KfW website. In addition, it is possible to apply for additional monthly payments of up to 500 euros through local student organizations in case of emergency due to a pandemic. This is very convenient, and Aika applied for such a loan. In fact, this is an installment plan where you guarantee to give money back on time.
What do foreign students do next?
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is currently working on a temporary fund for international students. The first step is a list of existing support measures during the corona crisis on the fund's website. In certain justified cases, it is possible to extend the scholarship. Participants in the European Erasmus + exchange program can receive support even if they have to take online courses while at home due to the corona crisis. Graduates of universities or vocational schools, forced to transfer their practice abroad, can take it within 18 months after receiving a diploma.
How do individual universities help?
In addition to federal assistance measures, there are programs to support foreign students in universities themselves. For example, in June, Hamburg universities offer through student organizations of the Hanseatic city to take interest-free loans in the amount of 400 euros. The Technical University of Dresden has created a fund for assistance during the corona crisis, where students can apply in case of loss of a part-time job or the need to care for a child. The reason for the appeal is any pandemic emergency.
I believe it is very supportive of young people in difficult life situations. This is real solidarity. Yes, this is not a lot of money, and you will be shackled financially, but it is better than nothing at all like in Russia or Kazakhstan. My friends tell me that in Russia, they are kicked out of the hostels that are on the picture directly on the street. I read the news, where students from Barnaul Medical University were ordered to leave the hostel during the day. No matter where, and leave all your things. Poor students, when I see the attitude of people in Europe and Russia, I feel very sorry for what is happening in the countries of the former USSR, it is very sad. Therefore, I urge you to be in solidarity with people who have fallen into difficult life situations. And if they are also volunteers themselves, then do not be afraid to help the same volunteer as willows. Because, good always only multiplies.