Facing the COVID-19 outbreak, student mobility suffered an extreme impact. The Erasmus Student Network, on the 9th of April, released the report “Student Exchanges in Times of Crisis”, which is the report of the survey carried at the end of march “Impact of COVID-19 on Student Exchange in Europe”.
Based on that research, ESN Portugal developed a National Report about the impact of COVID-19 on outgoing and incoming mobilities of our country. This report provides an overview of the first difficulties students in and from Portugal faced during their mobility and regarding their mobility. In this document, a lot of information can be found connected to mobility, accessibility, support, and mental health.
The report provides an overview of the current needs of our practices and how we must adapt to a fairer and more efficient answer when helping our students. “Both locals and workers have been both racist and rude even though my mobility started more than a month ago and they know it” - Portuguese student in Croatia. Racism, exclusion, and anxiety were three of the many problems identified by this research. “I experienced COVID-19 related racism based on my ethnicity, discrimination based on my nationality. Not only by students but also by several doctors (...). I experienced feelings of isolation and social exclusion, feelings of anxiety and stress, for which was necessary medical help” - Italian student in Portugal.
“At the beginning of the outbreak, ESN Portugal received several complaints about mobility agreements being canceled and international students being invited to leave their students’ residencies. We now invite all Higher Education Institutions to take a deep look into these reports, review their actions, and learn for future reference. We must not repeat the mistakes made. COVID-19 is a frightening situation, but solidarity still takes place in times like these. As for ESN Portugal, we have always been and will always be students helping students, youth helping youth, regardless of the circumstances” states Joana Ribau Leite, the President of ESN Portugal.
Please find attached both documents:
- Research Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Student Exchanges in Europe
- Info Document on Portugal's Case Study