Is the UK feed up from International students?

Studying in the UK was an unreachable dream for me in the beginning. As an Egyptian teenager I think that UK government is making it almost impossible to study or work here. In the 13th of July the government introduced a law that states that international student have to go back to their home countries once they finish their course.  Government law: ‘ban college students from being able to switch visas to Tiers 2 or 5 in the UK, and require them to apply from outside the UK (from November)’. This law was released under the prospective of  ensuring that student visas are used for study and not as a backdoor to the country’s hob market.

As all International students I have to apply for my visa before the start of the course by three months. Applying for the visa from Egypt is  not as easy as easy as it may seem. After the 25th revolution, the UK government applied more regulations on Egyptians in specific. Firstly, I have to contact  the school/University that I was accepted in to send me a CAS letter. After getting the CAS letter I can start my visa application process. Visa application costs almost 400 pounds, and the health insurance depends on how many years is my course. For example, my course is 3 years I have to pay 450 pounds. Moreover, while applying for the visa I need to provide some documents such as a financial statement that shows that I have enough money to pay my fees and living costs. Getting a feedback as an approval or rejection takes from 15-20 working days. If the visa is rejected a red sticker will be placed on the passport, and this rejection could be for several reasons such as not providing original documents.  Further more, getting an approval doesn’t mean entering the UK at any time, I am allowed to enter the country before my course starts with 3 weeks12365983_175908272762488_8229601969348749864_o.jpg

This is only the first part of the struggle. Arriving here to the UK is like entering a warzone. The immigration officer in the airport asks questions that would make any student to panic. Furthermore, normally one of those two things will happen either the immigration officer will take the passport to preform some security checks or he will let you pass. This is just part of what happens behind the scene every time a foreign student decides to continue his studies in the UK since it is well known for its high learning standards.

 

Egypt on the blacklist!

Watching the news everyday made me realise how the British journalism favour some countries than other. The Egyptian revolution was a dream that came true for all Egyptians, finally they took a step to make Egypt a more democratic country. During the revolution some British newspapers such as Daily mail wrote articles that was completely biased. The fact that they reported and covered only the violence and the bad side of the revolution is really disappointing. While in the other hand, the BBC was reporting the news in a neutral way, it was trying to reveal the truth as much as possible.

The Egyptian revolution is definitely misunderstood; many people thinks that Egyptian teenagers are violent, uneducated and aggressive and that Egypt is a poor and unstable country. Seeing the British government stopping flights to Egypt and accusing it to be unsafe or a headquarter of terrorists is frustrating. Terrorism is the world’s problem not only Egypt. This is the true Egypt that the  media know nothing about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only in Britain

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Most if not all Egyptians including me thinks that Britain is a perfect country that does not have any problems except racism and cold weather. Since the day I came to Britain I have been discovering new things everyday. Firstly was the’ Gay Village’ which I did not know that it exists in real life. The Gay Village in located in the Canal street which is the centre of Manchester, and it was build in the 1990s after the Sexual offence Act was set in 1967. Secondly, the latest researches and studies showed that the percentage of racism is the UK is increasing due to several factors such as Islamophobia. While actually I lived here for almost a year and half now and I realized that British people especially in Manchester are friendly and they accept all cultures and religions. Maybe there is a percentage of racists and people who suffer for the fear of Islam phobia especially after 9/11 attack in the US but this is found in all countries. Furthermore, Britain is the only country that has a mile just for Middle east and African food in Manchester,London and Birmingham. This indicates how Britain is a multicultural country.

On the other hand, Britain is not perfect yet. Britain is the only country that has an undecided weather. It might be rainy and freezing in the morning but warm and sunny in the afternoon. This may seem silly but actually researches showed that an average of 8.7 per cent of Britons are complaining about the weather. Moreover, NHS in UK is considered to be the poorest and slowest health service compared to Arab Countries. It takes almost a week for a foreign student name to be registered on the system and then two more weeks to get an appointment with the consultant. This is not the end, if the patient has bone pain he will have to wait six weeks before seeing a therapist. As well as, Professor John Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund, which specialised in health care policy said:’There is now a real risk that patient care will deteriorate as service and financial pressures become overwhelming’. This shows that this is not a problem for foreign students only it is actually the problem of most British citizens.

Overall, seeing or hearing about a country from outside is completely different than living in it. Nor Britain or any European country is perfect as most Egyptians or Arabs think it is. Each country has its drawbacks  but maybe the difference is how the media presents life in Europe and life in Arab Countries.

 

About

Living overseas my entire life is an experience that I would like to share with others. I am Hanya an 18 years Egyptian teenager who is studying journalism in MMU. I was born in Egypt, raised in Saudi Arabia then came here to the UK. Moving from an Arab to a European country was definitely a huge change. The difference between my expectations and reality was shocking. ‘Behind The Scenes’ will be featuring my overseas living experience.