There is not a shadow of doubt that with the pandemic came a wave of financial instability for a large portion of the population as well as for small businesses and such. Monthly costs become a more prominent burden for those who cannot rely on subsidies and niceties from the Dutch government: the internationals.
Just recently, I got a mail from Vestide notifying me that my rent will increase soon. Given that all students are now forced to stay inside, that comes with higher water, electricity, and maintenance bills which are settled with Vestide every year. And to add to that, most of us who had part-time jobs no longer have it. I know people say you tend to be broke in your 20’s but this is getting ugly.
It's really starting to feel like we are not even an afterthought in this crisis. From selling clothes to finding payable hobbies and surviving on rice, many students are starting to really be financially affected by this situation. With the potential delays in studies and of course none other than yet another increase in tuition fees, everything seems to be working against the survival of internationals here in Eindhoven.
This especially stings when your friends who are Dutch or EU citizens are compensated and considered with reimbursements, grants, and money flying in left and right (or at least it feels like it). Whereas I understand that Dutch nationals and EU citizens are entitled to those ‘rights’, it does not sufficiently justify all those increases for those who are not.
I am no stranger to the concept of privilege but I fail to see the humanity in turning a blind eye to those who will struggle the most due to something that they cannot control or could have anticipated. To those under financial stresses, I am sorry you have to go through this and experience the added anxiety of trying to make ends meet. Trust in yourself, get creative, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or help.
As always, please stay inside to protect yourself and your loved ones.