international students travelling during covid
international students travelling during covid

VIDEO – Travelling is expensive and unpredictable for students during Covid

The high price tag of tests and weeks spent in quarantine are some of the issues faced by foreign students studying in the UK

INTERNATIONAL students who travelled during the pandemic have had to face uncertainty over documents required and regulations, while also paying hundreds of pounds for tests.

“We are students, we have to go back to the UK, we study here, it’s not like we’re just going back for a trip,” said Ilia Kalliontzi, who visited her family in Greece over Easter. She studies Psychology at Cardiff University. “I think they’re just not making it easier for us,” she added.

Ilia’s experience is one of the thousands of international students who live and study in Wales. 25% of Cardiff University’s student body is international, about 8,475 students in total according to data by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

According to Cardiff’s Student Union Officer for International Students, Megha Ray, Ilia’s experience was not an isolated one. She has received hundreds of emails over the past few months from international students who are confused about the regulations, travel restrictions and the costs involved.

Ben Rydzek, a student in London, travelled from Germany to the UK by car. His trip to the UK was necessary as he had to pack up his shared student house at the end of the Semester. He prepared for the journey weeks in advance and was still uncertain he would be able to cross the border.

“It was sort of stressful….going and hoping that everything will go well,” said Ben.

In the below video Ilia, Ben and Megha share their experiences, from almost missing the flight home to the stress of knowing that one missing document could lead to a substantial fine.