Opinion: The COVID-19 pandemic brought many challenges to international students

Jaspreet Multani, Designer and Reporter

The beginning of a new chapter makes life very interesting. Shifting a base from India to the United States to study can be quite a change, especially for the first time being outside the country.

The first thing which I noticed upon arrival was the clouds, as I felt they were falling on me. But it was quite beautiful to see huge buildings between the clouds and people walking on the streets as they were in a rush to win the golden prize.

It took me some time to learn new ways of living in another country, learn a new language, adjust to the taste of new food, try to make new friends, and cope with the difficulties of getting around in a new country.

During the pandemic, the struggle for international students doubled and it also hit our mental health, due to financial burdens, living expenses, transportation, homesickness. At that point in time, I realized that there was no one to take care of us.

I graduated from Full Sail University, Florida on Dec. 20, 2019, hoping to join a company and kick-start my career with the Multimedia designer position, but life had a different path for me. After six months beginning of pandemic, I suddenly got financial stress from my parents, it was getting difficult for them to afford my living expenses.

At one point I started hating my situation, and it deeply affected my mental health. I felt that anxiety, frustration, sadness, and restlessness behavior.

Finally, I met a businesswoman on LinkedIn, and she wanted me to design her three editions of her magazine named “Living day by day.” That day I felt, my work has been recognized.

Over the years, international students have been very competitive and worked hard to get good grades in their fields of interest. In my opinion colleges and universities should encourage and guide international students in the right direction.

In daily life, mental stress has a higher rate; in international students, it can be helpful to talk to them and make them feel comfortable discussing their daily challenges.

The National Library of Medicine says international students are more prone to mental disorders, struggle with the local medical system, and less motivated to seek psychological services than their domestic peers.