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How international students benefit Australia

28 August 2020

Managing director of Study Group Australia and New Zealand Alex Chevrolle on the contribution of international education to Australia. This is an extract from an article originally published in The Pie News

COVID-19 has shaken us all, we locked down into our cities, suburbs and homes and for a while, the travel many of us had enjoyed seemed a thing of the past. The planes were grounded. It was hard to look forward to how things might be in the future. Campuses were quiet; some students travelled home, most went online for their teaching.

Study Group made an almost overnight transition to teaching at a distance and offering student support virtually, and the universities we collaborate with did the same. Some of those students were in local accommodation, others around the world.

Staff did everything in their power to keep education on track. To them and to me, international students were and are far more than economic statistics. They are talented young people who bring vitality, energy and optimism to Australia, along with their tuition fees and spending in local economies.

Student success story 

If the average member of the public does not feel convinced about the benefits of international students, perhaps it would help to put a face to the statistics. This is just one story of thousands.

Joey Zhu is a recent Civil Engineering graduate from the University of Sydney. He first came to Australia as a pathway student on the University of Sydney Foundation Program at Taylors College Sydney. A Student Ambassador for the University, he helped other young people learn about Engineering and acts as a mentor for the High Achievers Preparation Program. His hard work paid off with achieving a First-Class Honours degree from Sydney and the University Medal award.

Behind every international student statistic, there is a story of a young person who made the brave decision to leave their home and travel to study in Australia. Often their families have made real sacrifices to make that possible.

Working to welcome students back to Australia

We mustn’t turn in on ourselves. Universities and cities are all the better for students like Joey. I for one am looking forward to welcoming other students back to our shores.

Study Group is part of a higher education network working closely with the government to welcome international students to Australia. 

Read the article in full on The Pie News

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