NL Interviews: Stranded Indian students on expiring visas and an uncertain future
NL Interview

NL Interviews: Stranded Indian students on expiring visas and an uncertain future

Two Newslaundry subscribers studying in Europe share their experiences of being away from home, and how this pandemic is affecting their academic and personal lives.

By NL Team

Published on :

In this episode of NL Conversations, a part of Newslaundry’s ongoing series on COVID-19, Varun Thomas and James Asirvadam, discuss what it's like being stuck in Europe as a result of the pandemic. They both are Newslaundry subscribers.

Varun Thomas has recently completed a dual degree masters in MSC Management in Germany, from the EBS University for Economics and Law. He has a Bachelor’s degree in IT engineering, and an MBA from OP Jindal Global University.

James Asirvadam is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in sustainable manufacturing, working with polymer technology and recycling from NTNU, Norway. He has also worked as a Research Assistant with Advanced Sustainable Engineering Materials lab (ASEMlab), following which he took up thesis engagement to work on the lifetime prediction of HDPE (high density polyethylene) use in Norwegian fish farm.

With his current student visa about to expire, Thomas talks about graduating in these uncertain times. This uncertainty further exacerbated by his job offer being put on hold, and the indefinite suspension of international flights to India. ‘It’s kind of a huge question mark,’ he says, while talking about others facing a similar predicament. He opens up about living under partial lockdown in Germany, without any close relations.

Asirvadam, who is in his final semester, is unable to work on his thesis. Since his thesis requires experimental laboratory work, the current lockdown will inevitably delay his graduation, as well. Since he lives in a sparsely populated county, there has not been a drastic change in everyday life.‘They (Norway) are looking after human welfare over the economy. Like I’ve been laid off and I’ve applied for unemployment benefits,’ he says.

For this and a lot more, tune in.

Recorded by Snigdha Sharma, edited by Parikshit Sanyal.

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