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Lena Bonin, City College of NY

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I’m now getting my master’s degree in environmental biotechnology. I get a little help from the government back in Europe, but it isn’t much so my parents have to cover my tuition and housing. The savings that I had from back home covers transportation and books.

Personally, I don’t need a child care service, but I think that it would be a good idea to have one on campus for the students that really need it. My biggest challenge as an exchange student has been adapting to the new environment because everything is new to me, and it takes time to get used to everything. I think that NYPIRG is doing an amazing job and should absolutely continue doing everything they do! 

Fadly Cherif, Buffalo State

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I am a junior with a double major in Political Science and Psychology, as well as a minor in International Relations. I came to the United States in 2015 seeking a better education. As an international student, I don’t get financial aid, I don’t get loans, and there are restrictions on how long and where I can work.  New York State’s disinvestment in state colleges has affected me in multiple ways. The lack of funding has resulted in overworked professors who don’t have time to assist students as much as they need to, crowded classrooms and health center, and expensive textbooks.

I’ve been working part time at the writing help center on campus to support myself while getting help from my parents to put myself through college. However, the college expenses are sometimes too much. For the past two years I’ve gone through my classes without ever getting the required textbooks. I would either rent them from third parties or borrow a friend’s. The state needs to fund colleges so as to minimize costs for students of all socio-economic backgrounds.