Hello everyone! My name is Maria, 21 y.o. I am an international student in Europe, and I am in a big trouble.
The story started when I decided to transfer from the Latvian University I had been attending to the University of Huelva in Spain, in autumn 2018.
Here, I need to clarify some things. I have a boyfriend that lives in Lisbon, Portugal. And my mother has moved there as well because living in our home country (Uzbekistan) has become very hard as the prices are now very close to those in Europe and the salaries stay the same (200€ per month in average). We had two apartments in there and we sold one to fund her stay for the first months until she starts working and to pay my tuition fees. But those 15.000 € are now almost gone and I cannot bear living in Spain anymore... I went through seven circles of hell to do the transfer, translated over 50 papers into Spanish, had to travel thrice to Moscow to obtain the study visa (only this embassy provides the services for people from Uzbekistan) and in the end, when my visa was ready and I have bought the tickets to Spain, they sent me the decision on recognition of my credits from the university of latvia. Only 30 out of 120 were recognised by the University of Huelva .. I kept asking the secretary all the time about my credits and the only reply I was receiving was "everything is okay". I was very sad but still decided to transfer as I had already withdrew my documents from the university of Latvia and I wanted to be close to my mom and my boyfriend (Huelva is 4 hours away from Portugal). I was quite lonely in Latvia.
And this was the worst decision I had made in my life as living in Spain became a hell for me.
First of all, because of the visa delay, I could only come to Spain in November. And I was short in options for renting. In the apartment I lived in I had three other flatmates. One of them was 54 years old man named Jesús who kept harassing me all the time. I suppose, he was mentally unstable as he could run after me on my way to the bathroom to shout and blame me in things I have not done (such as not flushing after myself which was a habit of the other guys). He could stay in front of my door and shout "cerda" (pig in Spanish).
I talked to the landlord several times and he kept replying that he trusts Jesus, and he is kind of a keeper of that flat because he is looking after it. And I could not even express myself properly because I was not that fluent in Spanish and everyone in the flat refused to speak English. Nobody would defend me, even my boyfriend, and I had to involve my mother into this. Until she told them she is going to Spain and then directly to police, the man wouldn't stop picking up on me. And even after that, he kept calling the landlord telling him not to return my deposit for the room.
Then, because of my late arrival, I was not able to catch up with the other students. There appeared to be subjects lectured in Spanish only, and I struggled so much to get a good grade, but in the end I failed half of them. The professors would simply say I am not doing enough when I went for the consultation with them.
There were many other nasty things that happened to me in Huelva, but by the end of the first semester I collapsed. I could not bear staying there anymore (and because only 30 credits were recognised I had 3.5 more years to study in there) and I moved to my mom's place for some time. I do not blame Spain or its people for this, as I have been to other places in Spain and the people were nice. I just believe this place is not for me.
And here I am now, regretting my decision back then in Latvia, because I always wanted to get a bachelor's degree and to build a bright future for me and my family.
I have explored the local universities here in Portugal and I found out that some of them offer a degree I always dreamed to attend - Bachelor's in Game Design. But as I am a non-EU citizen, instead of 1500€ I have to pay 6500€. I cannot work right now as my visa does not allow this, but I'm still trying to find some freelance jobs. Things are not going well in my home country too, as recently our neighbour contacted us saying that the police have sealed the door of our apartment and wants to give it to some police officer because we don't live in it. They have no rights to do that, but this is Uzbekistan ..
I do not have the amount to pay for my education, but I still want to do my degree, to find a decent job and to live a happy live. This is why I appeal to you, dear readers. Any amount will help my current situation. And when I become a game designer, I will list all of those who helped me achieve my goal in the final titles of my first game! I am a very creative person, and a cheerful one, but right now I feel very depressed.
Thank you all for reading my long story. I wish everyone luck with their education and never experience what I did!