The Association of Icelandic Students Overseas (SÍNE) has requested that each Icelander studying abroad be given the opportunity to apply for a loan worth up to ISK 500,000 (USD 4,100, EUR 3,300) from the Icelandic Student Loan Fund (LÍN) to cope with the economic crisis.
“We know that many students have run into trouble and have heard that some people have been forced to discontinue their studies,” chairman of SÍNE and board member of LÍN Gardar Stefánsson told Morgunbladid.
Stefánsson explained that the loans students receive no longer cover tuition fees and basic needs because of the depreciation of the Icelandic króna. In addition to that, students have recently had problems transferring money between Iceland and the country in which they are studying.
Stefánsson said that although most students have been able to cope so far, many worry that they will not be able to pay their rent for November. Around 3,000 Icelandic citizens are studying abroad.
Two Icelandic law students in Seoul told Morgunbladid that they have been shown compassion because of the situation and offered assistance from their teachers and school mates.
“I have received emails from students who I don’t know. They say they’ve heard about the situation in Iceland and encourage me to stay strong. They have also offered their assistance,” said Páll Eiríkur Kristinsson, one of the two law students.
“There is a small pub here in the vicinity which we sometimes visit. The owner knows that we are Icelandic and offered us beer on the house because he didn’t expect us to have any money,” Kristinsson added, referring to himself and the other Icelandic law student, Arnar Birgisson.
Kristinsson said he had not encountered many problems using his Icelandic debit card in Seoul. He added that the local currency, the won, is not particularly strong either so the vast depreciation of the Icelandic króna had not had as much impact as in other countries.