TAMPA, Fla. — The University of South Florida recently launched a fund to help international students struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
USF is home to approximately 5,000 students from more than 140 countries who are required to work on campus with limited hours.
With campus closed, most international students are without work during the pandemic.
"They may not have access to at-home banking so banks at home may be closed and they haven’t been eligible for federally-funded aid for students so they’re really in a tough place financially," said Kiki Caruson, Interim Vice President of USF World.
According to the university, "The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically affected our international students. Due to the global economic and health crises, many are questioning how they will continue their studies if they and their families are no longer able to earn an income. International students are not eligible for financial assistance from federal sources such as The CARES Act, and their employment opportunities in the U.S. are limited. Without your help, it may be impossible for them to fulfill their dream of earning a degree at USF."
After two weeks, the university's support fund raised $10,000 from about 100 donors.
"I’m just very grateful," said junior Isabella Marques, studying at USF from Brazil. "I want to say thank you for everyone for helping us. It doesn’t matter how much you donated it just matters your intention behind it."
You can donate to USF's World International Student Support Fund here.