THE CIRCULAR

Challenges of life abroad

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The life of an international student

Continuing with the subject of the last post, about international students, today we have an interview with Heloisa Carneiro about the difficulties that an international student has in Ireland. Tiring routine, waking up early and sleeping late, to be able to work and study.

The Irish Universities Association reported that Ireland has 32,000 international students. Those students, who have no family to support them in the country, are suffering to maintain themselves without any government support.

The Brazilians are one example, the country has 13,640 Brazilian residents, as reported for the 2016 census, but this number must not be updated, as the Department of Social Protection registered 5,840 Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers for Brazilians in 2020 and 2,692 in 2021. In 2019 this number was 13,215, which represents new residents who didn’t have these documents before. For them, it is only possible to work 20 hours per week, which, considering Ireland’s lifestyle, is impossible to survive. “Our bills are expensive, going to the shops, glossaries… Everything is so expensive, so they should increase that time”, said Heloisa, talking about the permitted hours to work by the government.

The issue of working hours ends up becoming a dilemma for students. While they have very expensive rent and need to work more than 20 hours to be able to pay them, they are also forced to enrol in full-time higher education courses, which does not leave much free time to work.

As one of the numbers in the statistic, Carneiro exposes her experience and the difference between the life that she had in Brazil and the one that she has in Ireland. She agreed that she has more power to buy what she wants here, but she used to have more quality of life in her country.

International students living in Ireland give up their comfortable lives in their home country to come to study and work in Ireland, and in return, they receive no support from the Irish government and often end up in precarious situations.

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