International students in the Netherlands are suffering from loneliness

People come from far and wide to study at prestigious Dutch universities, however, international students are suffering more than ever from mental health issues as a result of the pandemic.

Coming to a foreign country is already challenging as it is, being far from home, adjusting to a new culture, etc. But now the pandemic is making what should be an exciting experience even more difficult, according to the Volkskrant.

Miriam Zwaan, a study career counsellor at the Hogeschool of Arnhem and Nijmegen, noticed that her students were, “angry, sad, taken aback, completely frustrated, deeply depressed, suicidal…the whole psychiatric textbook.”

Fears of the virus and lockdown measures

Many international students were not able to have in-person lectures and had fears over the virus. This led to several students returning to their home countries and following their lectures there at odd hours or with insufficient WiFi or power outages.

On top of not having physical classes and having to deal with lockdown measures, a few students were not able to do study abroad programmes due to coronavirus.

70% of internationals are lonely

According to a survey by Nuffic, the Dutch organisation for internationalisation in education, around 70% of students felt lonely. A large group of the participants also indicated feelings of depression.

“The wellbeing of international students is under pressure,” said a Nuffic spokesperson.

Dutch students are also suffering from mental health issues as a result of the pandemic, but internationals seem to be doing even worse.

More students than ever are taking a break from their studies as a result — and we don’t blame them at all for that! 😪

What do you think about international students feeling lonely in the Netherlands? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: AntonLozovoy/Depositphotos

Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Nicole Ogden 🇹🇭 🇺🇸
Hailing from the bustling city of Bangkok, Nicole is a Thai/American international student who came to the Netherlands to study linguistics. When she's not reading books or listening to true crime podcasts, she's practising her singing and guitar skills! She is also attempting to pick up the Dutch language (moeilijk).


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