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We asked European students studying at Leeds about how Brexit is already affecting them

‘Will I lose my scholarships and have to pay thousands of pounds?’

With the UK having officially left the EU on the 31st of January, the post-Brexit uncertainty is becoming all too real for European students studying in Leeds. We asked those affected how their lives had already changed.

Aino, 20, Finland

"The biggest impact Brexit has had in my life is the uncertainty it brought for a long time. Now with the EU Settlement Scheme it has been easier to not worry about it too much.

"The only thing that I’m concerned about currently is how travel arrangements will change from 2021 when Brexit is finalised. Even though I have permission to stay until 2024, it will be quite stressful if travelling home becomes more complicated.

"It would also be interesting to know how EU students’ rights to work will be affected."

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Laura, 18, France

"My concern about the divorce between the United Kingdom and the European Union is not related to the potential end of benefits for European students in England, but rather to the unpleasant idea of the end of the free movement of students and residents in Europe."

Lea, 18, Germany

"After it is now clear that the UK will be leaving the European Union by the end of the year, the ultimate implications on me personally are still unclear.

"In addition to the consequence that the general population is expected to face like economic uncertainty, shortage of food supplies, as well as medication, I also expect to be restricted in my freedom to freely work, travel and study in the UK.

"I have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme which will allow me to continue living in the United Kingdom, so Brexit will not affected my studies."

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Diego, 20, Italy

“I am an Erasmus student from Italy and right in the middle of my experience, the UK left the European Union.

"I left home to follow my studies abroad in hope of a better future. Brexit threw my plans into discussion – will I have to go back to my country? Will I lose my scholarships and have to pay thousands of pounds?

"At my home university, I am an off-site student. I have recently found my way around Leeds and that’s why I started considering doing a Masters here, but one question holds me back: Will politics impose economic obstacles that will block my path?”

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Lea-Sophie, 19, Germany

"Brexit has affected me in more ways than I expected. Apart from the fact that i’m still waiting on a decision about my application for the Settlement Scheme, I am anxious about the future.

"I would like to work in the UK after my studies, but I fear that employers may favour UK nationals. Most of all I want more clarity from the government."

The University of Leeds regularly updates their Brexit page and provides information on how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The University also has an International Student's Advice Team for further information.