Support International Students Through New Emergency Fund

The Office of Global Engagement is working to build up its emergency funding for international students to assist students in completing their degree programs when unanticipated crises arise.

Food and housing insecurity among students has become more visible on campus as NC State works to break down the stigma and help students gain access to resources they need. One in seven students on campus experienced food insecurity in the last 30 days, and one in 10 students experience housing insecurity in the last 12 months.

NC State’s Pack Essentials is able to provide some important assistance, such as food from the Feed the Pack Pantry. However, international students are not eligible for many of these resources, such as government-funded food, housing, or medical benefits. They also cannot add work hours without violating their visa status.

“Our collaboration with the Students Ombuds and Pack Essentials has been wonderful, and we’re so grateful for what NC State is doing,” said Ingrid Schmidt, associate vice provost for external affairs and development in the Office of Global Engagement. “Unfortunately our international students often have additional challenges not faced by the general student body. Unexpected currency devaluations in their home country, or visa and other regulation changes can make it impossible for their families to continue providing support.”

Here are just a few recent stories about international students:

  • A graduate student and his wife are from a country that has devalued its currency. This has created significant challenges in covering health insurance and medical bills for the student’s wife.
  • A student intern’s father lost his job in his home country and the student is now having to use the money set aside for her internship to cover basic family living costs.
  • The family property of an undergraduate student was damaged by flooding in a natural disaster in his home country. Family funds were diverted to address the crisis, and he had difficulty with the outstanding balance due on his student account.
  • A 4.0 Ph.D. student discovered at the very end of summer that he would unexpectedly need to register for the fall semester in order to defend. He didn’t have the available funds to pay the tuition in time for registration, because a wire transfer from home would take 1-2 weeks. A short-term loan helped this student temporarily cover expenses so he could register, but no assistance was available for related financial needs.

Students like these will benefit from contributions of any size at global.ncsu.edu/giving.