January 22, 2005

EU Students

Today I went onto the Student's Union website and saw that a survey has been produced for international students, asking them what they think about the resources available to them by the SU. Although I am not trully an international student, I filled in the survey.
A few days ago, in one of our lectures, someone from the elections committee in the Student's Union announced that they were looking for more representation from female international students. I thought it could be an interesting thing to do…
BUT, the problem is: I am not an international student, well, kind of. I am a home student, well, not really. My problem is that I am an EU student.
For those of you that donīt know the implications of this, it means that although I pay the same university fees than all the British people here (which is really great!) I am not treated as an equal to the British in anything else. I have difficulties opening a bank account, no one wants to give me a mobile and I have to pay extortionate amounts of money if I get an overdraft.
This does not mean that I am treated like an international student either. I get no campus accommodation during my final year, I am offered no orientation week, or have a real say in international students affairs (which means that although I took the survey, it will probably get discarded).
Thus, my problem is that I am an EU student: I donīt properly fit into any University/Student's Union/bureaucratic category and am completely unrepresented.
There are quite a lot of us around, so why do they always forget us?

- 4 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Hi Raquel!

    I read your blog and I hope I am right on time to restore your hope in the Student's Union.

    There is representation for you. The union in the hope of restoring the international students faith in the union started the international committee 5 years ago. I am part of this committee for 2004/5. If you have any concerns regarding the union as an international student feel free to contact any one of us in the committee. www.intcom.org.uk

    Even though you are an EU student you are still considered as an International Student, the only benefit that you get from being an EU International student is that you pay home fees. You DO get orientation week and you DO have a say in the international student affairs.

    You DO get accommodation during your final year. The preference for final year accommodation is as follows…

    NON EU students
    EU students
    Home students

    There are alot of people just like you who feel the same way about the union and its activities. For instance as you would have noticed the union elections are taking place this week, observe the amount of international students running for the full-time sabbatical positions…only 3 (including myself) from the 31! Clearly there is no MAJOR power in the union who caters for international student needs. Futhermore every year from the 3500+ international students (from the total 18000 students) here at Warwick, only approximately 800 of them actually VOTE in the union elections every year…so as you can see quite clearly the lack of participation by international students has led to the under representation of them in the union which has fueled their lack of faith in the union's activities.

    The international committee although created by the union DOES NOT hold a position in the union council apart from the international committee chair i.e. ONLY ONE student represents the international students and this student was JUST 3 DAYS AGO considered as a part-time sabbatical officer before that it was a part-time student council role.

    All I can say for now is that if you need to voice your concern over any issue regarding you as an international student contact the international committee and we will help you out.

    30 Jan 2005, 14:23

  2. Ms Merino, whilst making a fair point here, you do manage to ignore the relevance of these issues.
    The point is that for external agencies, such as banks and mobile phone companies, you are just another foreigner who happens to be living in the UK, whilst for the university, you are effectively a home student (because they only care about money clearly). Lets also not forget that domestic students don't get to experience a Fresher's Week, as things stand, and those with surnames in the second half of the alphabet don't even get a fresher's party (well not till their second year at least!). The union doesn't really help matters either obviously, because of the international positions blurring things somewhat.

    Hope you enjoy my pearls of wisdom there and enjoy the fact that you pay shit-all tutition fees compared to the "real" foreigners!

    23 Feb 2005, 18:56

  3. raquel

    i didnt get a fresher's week either..or party for that matter..thats my point!

    24 Feb 2005, 12:29

  4. Quoting "You DO get orientation week and you DO have a say in the international student affairs". Somehow true, but what's the point if both the uni and the union tend to forget and leave u aside? I personally found the university quite segregated (English / International) and the EU students in the middle of nowhere. Hope something is done about it…

    19 May 2005, 20:08


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