Struggling to pay for tuition and living expenses due to a series of geopolitical crises back home, Iranian students studying in the US are turning to alternative methods of funding their studies, including selling their craftwork online or using crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe.
American sanctions and withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement led to a collapse in the value of the Iranian rial, devastating the financial plans students had put in place ahead of enrolling in their courses. Back-up options have also been hampered: the domestic banking restrictions that subsequently followed have made it difficult to wire money in and out of the country.
Just the latest obstacle for Iranian students in the US
There are over 12,000 Iranian students studying in the United States at present, but students unable to fund themselves must return to their home country.
Iranian students have also experienced difficulties arising from the Trump administration’s ‘Muslim ban’, a travel restriction on citizens of 7 countries, most of which have majority-Muslim populations – including Iran. Student visas are exempt from this; however, they are single-entry, meaning that students who return home to see family or friends must re-register their visa each time.