International students in the UK fear
consequences of Brexit

For decades, students from all over the world wanted to have a degree from one of the famous British universities. Those schools have a strong reputation, and studying in the English language opens doors internationally. Especially young people from former Eastern bloc countries — such as Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia — take the opportunity to study in the UK.

Nevertheless, in 2016 the British population voted on a referendum to leave the European Union (EU) because a majority of British thought that the EU was bringing more disadvantages to their country than advantages.

Still, many young international students come to the UK with the dream of living there and finding a job. The Brexit makes some of them worried about their future in Britain. A young woman from the Czech Republic speaks openly about her fears and struggles during her studies at the Derby university.

Eva M. (21), a young ambitious writer from the Czech Republic, came to study Media and Communication at Derby University in the UK. Even though she was scared to move to such a different country, she followed her dream. The University offers a lot of possibilities to follow her passions and shape her knowledge for a future career. Derby University is ranked first in the UK for welcoming international students, and it is known for offering a high-class education. Values of democracy, fairness and neutral respect are fundamental at Derby University, while being a particularly affordable place to live in the UK.

Eva M., one of the 438,000 international students in the UK, tell us that it was her life dream to move to the UK, and she is following her passion for writing and exploring the communication field. “Living in the UK has been my dream since I was a little girl,” Eva tells in our interview. “I really want to make it come true for a longer time than just 3 years of university studies. The UK is one of great countries for the industry I am interested in!”

Unfortunately, during the last two years there have been  a lot of political changes. The 2016 referendum showed that more than 50% of the voters want to leave the EU. The situation called “Brexit” has changed a lot for foreigners or expats. Uncertainty has arisen about their future possibilities to work and live in the UK. Eva tells us that one of the most challenging issues is the resulting lack of motivation — since she doesn’t even know if she will have the possibility to stay in the country of her dreams after her graduation.

Employment anxiety is a common problem for students in general. A NUS survey found that for ¼ of students, employment after graduation is a major trigger for mental distress. Eva explains that she is also facing this anxiety. The course of Media and Communication offered her a wide insight in the world of marketing and PR work. She says: “I write my own blog about literature, and in my free time I also used to try writing poetry or short fiction.”

Worries about the future are normal. The important thing is to find a way to address them and stay in the present. More, even with Brexit, for Eva there is hope! The latest outcome of political consequences of Brexit have shown that so far, the international students coming from the EU can easily get the pre-settled status of residents after their graduation. If she extends her studies with a Master’s degree, she will have been in the country for 5 years. Therefore, she can apply for an unlimited branch approval.

Thinking about the future and the prospect of a career is a challenge in itself, and the political situation in the UK has not eased the circumstances. Eva shows us that keeping hope, and living in the present, is the way to go. With her mantra “you have to watch the course of events and just hope for the best,” she has found her personal way to deal with the situation.


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