Ottawa int'l students struggle with Venezuela currency controls
International students are brainstorming ways to fundraise for Algonquin College tuition
Venezuela is in the midst of an economic recession and the government has imposed strict currency controls on nationals living abroad.
Jefferson Roman told CBC News he has not been able to get any money from Venezuela for 10 months. He came to Ottawa from Caracas, Venezuela to study computer systems at Algonquin College.
"You need to apply, to submit an application to the government where you have to show them why you want the money, how much, the amount of money, what you're going to do the money. Based on that, they would allow you to use a certain amount of money," he said.
"I feel like I'm begging for that money. I feel like I don't belong to any country, because not even my country can help me."
Without funds, he has asked Algonquin College for a break on his tuition. International students pay nearly $9,000 more annually to study.
A spokesperson for Algonquin College said officials cannot comment specifically on the students' situation, but said there are emergency bursaries and counselling available.
Roman said he and other students are brainstorming ways to fundraise.
The Venezuelan embassy in Ottawa didn't return a request from CBC News for comment.