International students from Kerala surviving by working in care homes in UK: Read student experiences – UKMALAYALEE

International students from Kerala surviving by working in care homes in UK: Read student experiences

Friday 9 July 2021 6:38 AM UTC

By A Staff Reporter

LONDON July 9: There is a huge influx of students coming from Kerala to do higher education in UK universities. Despite travel constraints in place due to Covid-19, there has been a 30 per cent increase in the number of undergraduate applications from Indian students to study at British universities, according to data from the UK’s centralised higher education application system.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) analysis showed that as of June 30, the deadline for applications for the new academic year, 9,930 applications were made by Indian students, up from last year’s 7,640 applications.

These students, who are mostly qualified graduates from Kerala, are allowed to work 20 hours each week. Majority of the students are not getting the sector they need to work to but ending up by working as carer or live in carers. Many have been surviving on food handouts and donations.

According to a House of Commons report on Covid impact on labour market, workers from ethnic minority group, women, young workers, low paid workers were most negatively economically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. Although statistics suggest a continued recovery for the UK labour market, it will take time for it to return to pre-pandemic levels. The pandemic has caused severe strain on businesses in the UK and as result them being unable to recruit these students for work purposes.

This website spoke to several students who have come here for higher studies, and they are all surviving by doing all what they can by working within the care industry, many run by Keralites in UK or by working in shops, restaurants, warehouses and wherever they can. However, many felt that this is a boon as there is no point in going back to Kerala as there isnt anything to go back to. These were the category of students who would do anything to survive by working wherever they can without looking at what job is on offer.

Below is a true reflection from students who this website spoke to but have changed the names. Many students who have obtained student visas or who are awaiting to come to the UK have messaged this website enquiring on the job scenario and also the possibility of bringing families to the UK. This article is for them too.

The purpose of this article is to highlight the present scenario where a student who arrives in UK may not end up getting to do a job which is of their liking. Some may struggle to get a job. There is also a shortage of accommodation for students which means staying is also expensive. Therefore, beware, before embarking to do studies in UK that you are financially self reliant.

Sneha Varghese from Kent, who has completed her higher education in Data Analysis says: “I come from Kannur and from a family not so much financially strong. I took student loan and arrived here and I still have to work to pay off the loan back home. I work as carer and therefore it helps to pay towards my day to day living expenses, rent and also paying off the loan. I get good money if I do the live-in carers job but then there is the risk factor too as you dont know what type of person you would be taking care off.

On being asked if she is happy with what she has at present she said: “I am happy as I Facetime every day with my family in Kerala and keep them updated. I have a fairly good employer who is a Keralite. I now have to save up some money to get my post study work sorted here. Although, I may get work as part of my post study work in a care home I may be able to move out to do the work I wished to once I have got my permanent residency. Therefore, I have my focus on it”

Ouseappachan from AR University says: “I arrived in UK in January 2021. I am requesting some donations for meeting our daily expenses for rent, food, travel expenses etc. We are some students studying in AR University from Chemlsford, Cambridge, and Peterborough (three main campus). The fee for an international students for a year is £15,000 and my course is a three year course and my total fees is £45,000. I have taken an educational loan for my tuition fees the amount I need to pay each month is £160. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic most of us are struggling to find part time jobs. Most of the agencies and recruiting agencies are not giving international students legal jobs, so most of as are working in off license shops for meeting our daily expenses.

“I am working in an off license shop and they are paying me only £6 for a hour and if we work for 10 hours we will only get £60. In my case now its practical studies for me so I need to work in hospital for free.

“They are not giving any single pence. In a week I need to work 3 days a week and in a day the work time is 13 hours. In a week I need to work for the rest of the 4 days and I am not getting any time to sleep these days. Some of us are sick doing things like this. If you could give as a single pound also it will be so helpful. We don’t have any family here to protect us or help us. Hope you will help us. I am attaching the paypal link which we has created for receiving the money. If you are not able to help us please share this link to other Malayalees who are able to help”.

San Augustine studying MSc Construction Engineering Management at University of EL. I arrived in February 2021. I am at present staying in Beckton. I was looing to get a job in the field of Civil Engineering but this became so difficult that I am now working within a nursing home. The shifts are very low but then somehow managing my finances with this money. I am still looking to get to do more shifts with other care agencies.

Under current rules, Indians with a valid student visa can travel to the UK but must follow the “red list” travel requirement of a compulsory 10-day quarantine at a government-approved facility as part of measures to control the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Indian students holding a student visa or a Tier 4 visa have residence rights in the UK, therefore the travel ban does not apply to them. However, they will be expected to complete a 10-day hotel quarantine at their own expense as per the UK government guidelines.

Indian students need to agree to book and pay for a quarantine package before you complete your passenger locator form and board your return journey to the UK. The package includes the costs of transport from the port of arrival to the designated hotel, food, accommodation, security, other essential services and testing.” The rate for one adult in one room for 10 days (11 nights) is 1,750 pounds.

Before arriving in England, travellers must take a COVID-19 test and get a negative result during the three days before their travel. You must take the test in the three days before the service on which you will arrive in England departs. For example, if you travel directly to England on Friday, you must take the test on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

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