Autumn Appeal

We need your help to tackle the numbers of international students suffering from mental health issues

International students have experienced unprecedented levels of disruption, and it's taking a toll on their wellbeing. Please help us support them at this critical time.

A recent survey by Friends International, revealed that one in four international students across the UK and Ireland are suffering from mental health issues. That could be more than 100,000 students with issues ranging from anxiety and high levels of stress to depression and eating disorders.

Sarnai, an embryology student from Mongolia, studying at the University of Dundee, highlighted the situation. She said, 

“I expected a lot before I came the UK. I hoped to make new friends, explore the culture, and travel around. However, everything was ruined. I lost my hope, and depression was all over me. I lived by myself as all my flatmates had gone because there was no need to stay in the UK when all the lessons were online. I wanted to go back to Mongolia, but could not because of my course, I had to practice in a lab and do observations in a clinic. My hope was being lost day by day.”

As a supporter of Friends International, you will know that providing friendship to international students is a core part of our DNA. For many international students the staff and volunteers of Friends International have been their lifeline through this challenging time.

In Sarnai’s case, Becky, a Friends International host, was able to step in and provide support. She explained, 

“I have hundreds of examples of how Becky supported me when I was struggling during difficult times. She always ended her text with this phrase ‘my prayers are always with you and lots of love’. I have not only made friends, I have also had a family in Dundee”.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

We know wellbeing issues are having a profound effect on international students, but we believe that God’s light can penetrate any darkness and the friendship and faith we offer international students can make a real difference to young lives. In response, can I ask you to do two things?

Firstly, will you pray that these international students will not be overwhelmed and consumed by fear and anxiety, but instead they will be open to God and His love for them. Secondly, will you prayerfully consider if you can donate to support our work, coming alongside international students to support those with mental health and wellbeing issues at this critical time?

Thank you for your commitment and generous support to Friends International, you can make a difference in so many young lives at this critical time.

Alan Tower

Alan Tower

National Director

Give Now and Make a Difference to International Students

(Friends International Trustees reserve the right to use donations for general charitable purposes of the organisation should the need arise)

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You will notice that this form doesn’t ask for your bank details. This is because, it is easier and more cost-effective for you to donate through your own online banking. You can do that using these details:

Sort Code: 12-20-26
Account Number: 06042132

However, we would still ask you to complete this form, so that we can provide you with a giving reference and allocate your gift according to your wishes.

If you would like to make a gift by cheque or charity voucher, please make it payable to ‘Friends International’. For our full address, please see the very bottom of this page. Use this form to tell us you are sending the cheque and how we should allocate it.

You will notice that this form doesn’t ask for your bank details. This is because, once you complete the form, we will contact you with the details you need to set up your regular gift through your own bank. This way of doing it means we avoid extra online costs, and we do not lose your valuable support when your debit card expires. Less hassle for you, and for us!

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Watch the free videos

On the app for international students

Wellbeing Videos

Get access to all '5 Ways to Wellbeing' videos!

The Wellbeing videos are perfect for sharing with international students and will help them greatly as they consider their mental wellbeing. 

Links to each video, as well as ideas for discussing each one, can be found in the Church Resource Pack (pages 7 & 8)