Brexit will officially begin on 29 March according to Prime Minister Theresa May. While the UK is starting the process of leaving the EU, European Union students are still worrying about Brexit consequences. Here are four reasons why Brexit is threatening EU students’ careers (i.e. What are we going to do with our lives? )
1. The language
According to Statista, one of the leading statistics companies on the Internet, English is spoken by approximately 1.5 billion people globally. This language facilitates globalisation, it is necessary for your career and it improves your social abilities. But after Brexit, English will no longer have the same status in Europe and it could lose its popularity and vigour. Unless you go overseas, the demand for English speakers could decrease. (i.e. What about our English A grades and years of study? Should we have listened to our grandfathers and become farm workers instead?)
2. Student mobility programmes
Mobility programmes such as Erasmus + and bi-national degree courses are highly at risk. Without the EU there’s no guarantee that students will have this huge opportunity. Joining these projects can help you to improve your communication and intercultural skills. (i.e. What about our well-deserved fish&chips-based meals and whole months of lovely rain?)
It’s possible that Brexit will have a negative impact on the value of the pound. We can expect prices to increase even further in the UK, once Brexit is complete. Living and working in the UK will be difficult for everyone. As far as European Union students are concerned, there may be higher fees and visa restrictions. (i.e. Oh lovely! This is the smallest apple ever and it costs an arm and a leg. Is it possible to pay with a Monopoly credit card, please? )
4. The emotional impact
Some think that Brexit is going to make people feel unwelcome. The UK now seems an unfriendly and narrow-minded place where finding a decent job would be difficult. European Union students will still have the opportunity to study abroad, but the point is that they may not have this opportunity in Britain. (i.e Things go bad after a divorce and often stay that way. Not this time. We still love each other, you know. It is never too late to mend and start over.)
4.1. Since the UK loves international students (and their money), EU students will still have the opportunity to study in the UK – it will just cost a lot more! (i.e Are we really breaking up? Should I find a good lawyer to help reduce the excruciating cost of this painful divorce?)
It would be great if the world were an actual global society, but it never works out that way. Brexit is happening, and there will be consequences we have to accept. But we can admit that they are pretty scary for European Union students. What emerges from this process is the lack of faith in the UK’s future. Will Brexit ruin our lives? Only time, the insufferable know-all that it is, will tell.
Note: In the UK there is a distinction between ‘home’ (UK/EU) and ‘overseas’ students for the purpose of fees. EU students are currently in the same fee situation as UK students. But international students are not – they pay much higher fees. As one of Brexit’s consequences, EU students risk being in the same situation as other non-UK students – i.e. they may have to pay a lot more than now.