59% Of International Students in Netherlands Deal With Mental Health Issues

mental health support

The majority of international students in the Netherlands, are struggling with their mental health, a survey has revealed.

The International Student Survey, conducted annually by Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) in partnership with the Erasmus Student Network (ESN) and National Student Union (LSVb), found that 59 percent of international students in the Netherlands suffer from mental health problems, Erudera.com reports.

The survey, which aimed to investigate the well-being of students in the Netherlands, also revealed that 28 percent of students living and studying in the Netherlands don’t feel at home in the country.

“Time and again it is proven how bad the state of student welfare is. These figures show that international students are no exception. It is distressing to see that we are unable to make this group feel at home and that these feelings are so widely supported,” ISO chairman Terri van der Velden said.

In addition, 35,4 percent of international students said that they face financial difficulties, with many of them describing the Netherlands as too expensive to live in.

Findings show that 70 percent of international students in the Netherlands are not aware that they are entitled to a loan and student travel product, whereas 37 percent said that they are unsure whether or not they should be insured while in the country.

“The focus of the conversation is often on how the education system is suffering from the explosive growth of international students, but the students themselves are also being destroyed. International students are still treated too much like second-class students,” Van der Velden added.

Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) is the largest national student organization in the Netherlands, representing than interests of over 800,000 students at country's universities and colleges.

According to Statistics Netherlands, 40 percent of students starting their first year of studies in the Netherlands are international students. In the 2021/22 academic year, over 100,000 international students continued their studies at universities and colleges in the Netherlands, and of those 42,000 moving to study in the country for the first time.

The country is currently facing a serious housing crisis which has also affected international students. As the situation worsen, universities have asked students not to come to the Netherlands unless they secure a place to stay first.

The University of Amsterdam (UvA) advised international students not to come to the capital in absence of secured housing as the accommodation list of the university was oversubscribed. The school has even earlier worried over the increase in the number of international students due to lack of housing and few study places. More than 41,000 students study at the University of Amsterdam.

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