It is a difficult time for our international student networks – in Australia and around the globe – who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presently like never before, it is imperative to share these stories of strength, expectation and support with fellow students and Australians and remind ourselves that we are #InThisTogether.
The initiative gives a collective stage to us all; state and territory partners, education partners, education providers, service providers, and local and international students, and the local Australian society, to keep sharing our messages of support, companionship and strength.
Besides this emotional support, the government has also taken a step ahead by:
- Announcing a new regulation for international students who have been studying for more than 12 months by granting access to claim their superannuation funds to finance their living in Australia during this difficult time.
- Announcing special working arrangements to expand international students’ working hours until May 1, 2020. International students can contact their employers for more data.
- Encouraging international students who are not able to support themselves financially for the following a half year in Australia to come back to their home country and families. However, the government fully understands that returning home might be troublesome right now, because of limited flight access or borders shutting in other countries. The government states that they will keep on keeping the international students informed regarding measures accessible to help them until they are able to depart.
Going hand-in-hand with the government, education providers in Australia also provide support to their students. The fact that there are around 600,000 international students from around the globe studying in Australia at the moment who may be greatly affected by the pandemic, both financially and emotionally, has initiated universities and colleges to take necessary measurements and arrangements.
The financial support comes in different shapes, all of which to help students with financial hardship during this time, for example, the Edith Cowan University of Perth that provides up to $ 2,000 support grants, hardship payment scheme for the first-semester tuition fee, IT Assistance in the forms of loaning laptops and data packs, Grocery grants of limited numbers $ 50 e-vouchers, and even parking fees waiver that offers a refund on Semester 1 and full-year parking permit, Curtin University that provides tuition-free weeks, Empyrean Education Institute of Perth that provides more suitable instalment plans, and Engineering Institute of Technology that provides up to 10 % discount for students who will enter the spring semester of 2020, and fall semester of 2021.
Another example is the Chisholm institute in Victoria that announces tuition fee deferrals for the following three months for students with financial hardship. They also encourage their students who need urgent assistance with food, anxiety, and even who lose their jobs, to talk with the staff and contact the student services immediately. Moreover, AIBT College of New South Wales also offers AIBTGlobal Care Packs with essential food for their currently enrolled students.
In addition, there are also supports in the forms of e-voucher that international students may use to buy groceries and pay their accommodation in Australia. Through their student support services, Australian education providers encourage international students with financial hardship or any other inquiries due to the COVID-19 pandemic to contact them so the universities can provide any assistance needed by international students based on their personal conditions.
Despite the fact that these may be difficult times, education institutions and government offices in Australia are here to help. Please do remember that you are not the only one and the Australian community is here to support you during this time.
Here at Education ONE, our consultants can advise you on the best visa option and available supports for you to stay safe and legal in Australia. Besides that, our sister company, ONEderland Consulting, is offering complimentary visa consultations for those affected by the coronavirus as a way to assist our community. Stay safe, and contact education ONE here immediately.