Photo Story Young people and the pandemic

Coping as a student during Covid-19

Reportage from the Nanterre university campus near Paris. Students who were unable or unwilling to return to their parents are helping each other deal with money problems and loneliness.

Published on 25 March 2021 at 15:19

Since the start of the pandemic many European students have lost the casual jobs they used to do while studying. In France, a third of them now say they are experiencing financial difficulties. This situation is worse still for those not supported by family or who cannot return to live with their parents.

In the university residences, many students are now receiving food aid. Chaïma is 24 years old, a masters student in languages (German, English) at Nanterre, and a resident on the campus.

During the first lockdown in March 2020 she lost her job at a cinema. As a scholarship recipient she receives state support for her rent, but it is not enough to cover all her expenses. With other friends on the campus, she therefore created an association, ATR92 (for Aide ton résident, “Help your resident”, and the postcode), whose aim is to support the poorest student residents. Several times a week they organise food distributions, either on the campus itself or in partnership with other associations. 

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