Wojciech Yuri Lewinski

To whom it may concern,

My name is Wojciech Yuri Lewinski. I’m an international student. I’m 23 years old and I was born in Poland. When I was 16, I moved to Spain and then at the age of 20, I decided to save up and study in the UK. Starting off with a Foundation year in 2018, I’ve moved on to do an undergraduate degree in Japanese Studies at Brookes. I am currently a second year student.

Even before university, I worked in a popular tourist spot where I had the opportunities to appreciate and converse with people from contrasting backgrounds. Since day 1, I’ve been engaging with local and international students, as a colleague and student representative for the foundation year. I am also the President of the Oxford Brookes Japanese Society and collaborating closely with Oxford University Japan Society and more.

Being a Student at any University is hard - and I believe being an International Student is even more of a challenge. All of a sudden, you’re dropped into a new culture, new country, everything’s different, you’re far away from home - this can be a very isolating experience, especially nowadays - with COVID19 being a significant factor on how we interact with others. It can be really hard readjusting to what could be a completely distinct lifestyle, and I’ve experienced it firsthand. All of us are fighting right now - for our future careers, for our education, for our families.

Living in Oxford isn’t cheap - should I be elected, I will, with the help of Brookes Union, pressure the university to improve assistance, resources and help for international students.

Considering the current situation, I will also campaign for partial refunds of tuition fees, given that most of our lectures are online and we, as students, do not directly benefit from the facilities we are being charged for, in what some of my colleagues call ‘a daylight robbery’. I will campaign for our Lecturers and Tutors to consider exceptional circumstances where they might have been disregarded. I will campaign to try and improve the line of communication between Student - Student Central, especially for international students - where the issues may be much more complex.

I’m Yuri, and I’m an International Student. Please vote for me to be your International Student Portfolio Officer.