Support options for international students

As we come to the end of the academic year, we know that some international students are currently experiencing financial difficulty, and that others are worried about the possibility of experiencing this in the future.

It’s not always easy to reach out and talk to someone about getting help. Some students can feel embarrassed and don’t want anyone to know, while others can be concerned that receiving financial support could impact their visa.

The UCSA is an independent organisation that is run by students, for students, and our mission – the whole reason we exist – is to help you succeed and belong.

What might financial difficulty look like?
Financial hardship can be different for different people. The easiest way to figure out if you might be suffering financial hardship is to ask yourself questions like:

• Have you lost your job recently?
• Are you finding it hard to cover basic costs of food? Or hard to eat three meals a day?
• Do you stress about affording basic costs like transport or rent?
• Have you suffered an illness or injury that has affected your ability to earn?
• Are you spending more and more of your savings to the point where they are nearly gone?

Talking with someone
If you think you may be experiencing financial hardship, or might be close to doing so talk to the UCSA Advocacy & Welfare team. They can help by looking at practical options and seeing whether you might be eligible for the financial support options currently available through the UCSA, the University or externally.

Information noted earlier on Insider’s Guide about a financial assistance programme called Manaaki Manuhiri noted at the time that it was only available until the end of September. The good news is that this has just been extended, and students who have exhausted all other support avenues can now apply for it until the end of November 2020.

If you do need help, please know that your current visa status and any future visa applications will not be affected by any financial support you receive through the UCSA or the University.

Other Support
As well as financial support, you can access the following for general and academic help:

Atawhai Ākonga | Student Care Advisors
Provide practical advice for your well being and success as a UC student.
Contact: studentcare@canterbury.ac.nz 

Pokapū Pūkenga Ako | Academic Skills Centre
Free advisory service and resource hub to help you improve your writing and study strategies.
Contact: academicskills@canterbury.ac.nz

UCSA Student Advocate
Provide advice on your situation, future options and provide support on navigating the university system.
Contact: help@ucsa.org.nz

UCSA International Rep
To make sure students are heard, the Executive sits on a range of college and UC committee bodies. You can contact our International Representative, Derrick, at any time. Contact: international@ucsa.org.nz

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