Student Union sets up the portfolio Student Wellbeing.

'Left board member Saikiran Samudrala of the Student Union and right director Hans Oeloff of the Center for Educational Support.'

Last year, our very own Saikiran Samudrala, Portfolioholder Communication & Internationalisation has set up a new portfolio on his own: the portfolio student wellbeing. For lots of students, including internationals, it can be hard to suddenly start their own adult life in a different city, maybe even in another country.

Saikiran is originally from India and has been studying in Enschede since 2017 as a Mechanical Engineering master student. As a foreign student himself, he knows a lot about the problems that international students face: "They have chosen to study abroad and are prepared to take up the challenge. But you have to learn what it means to be a student in the Netherlands. Everything to help you with that is there. It is not always easy to find. "

Eight out of ten students who completed a UT wellbeing questionnaire last year indicated they were not always feeling so good. A third of the students felt signs of a depression or severe anxiety. This was especially the case for female students, homosexuals and transgenders and foreign bachelor students. Only 20 percent said they had no complaints.

From September 2020, the Student Union will provide trainings for board members and other leading figures within student associations. They are not supposed to solve someone else’s problems, but help they in guiding the way to someone who can help these students. The SU makes lots of efforts to help UT students; every year during the kick-in around 300 foreign students are picked up from Schiphol. Next to this, we provide the buddy program, new students will be paired up with another students who has been studying at the university for at least a year. Their buddy will guide them during their first half year of studying in Enschede. Often, life long friendships are formed through this program.

Students can of course also help each other out when they are not feeling well. Talk with each other! Someone who listen to you can already make a big difference in the way you feel.

Also read the exclusive Tubantia article about UT Mental Health!