The seminar was on the 22nd of March 2013 at the Coburg Library. It started at 2pm and finished at 5:15PM. The library is right near the train station. A few students attended. I was one of them invited to attend. Here is my write up of the event
This post is in two sections.
1) Moreland City council welcomes International students and how Moreland City Council assists new International students.
“We can come together without any harm” City of Moreland
“We all need friends” City of Moreland.
Firstly I’d like to thank the City of Moreland for letting me be a part of this. I really got a lot out of it.
The library for me was really to hard to find so I was a bit late, Sorry guys. More signage would be ideal.
We started off really late at about 2pm. The first thing that was talked about was the report on International students (see point 2). The recurring themes throughout the presentations were costs of living in Melbourne and no transport concessions for International students ( hey the locals think that they don’t pay tax when they come as they are a visitor, but it might not be true), housing, racism and not much knowledge about what local council can do for these students
There was a play called “Life’s Gamble” and it aimed to illustrate all the problems that International students have when studying in Melbourne. One of the issues worth mentioning is racism and the lack of knowledge about Australian customs. Another one worth raising is the issue of the English language.
AFIS ( Australian Federation of International Students) has been working with International students in the past few years and they predict that by 2020 the number of students expected to come to Melbourne for study is 100000+. They also predict that costs of living will soar and students will struggle.
And then there was afternoon tea.
Then the council talked about what they can do for students (we will cover this in April in a seperate post).
And then another break.
After the break there was a long discussion from a range of people including the police, Fair Work Ombudsman, Housing, International Care Service and ourselves the students. Here we talked about our experiences.
The people from housing talked about a number of ways in which people can be exploited. Ie: being asked to pay for an inspection.
Tenants union does not deal with International students, but students can drop into see them. It is very difficult for students to rent houses as they would need a reference from another Australian landlord or the Uni.
Not many students knows what a scam is and they are easily being conned by people that used to be International students especially on Gumtree and Social Media.
The Fair work Ombudsman said that there is that problem of the “20 hour per week rule”, which I reckon that rule is fair during the semester. But not everyone pays the correct rate- some are known to pay about $5 per hour which for students suck. Hence some businesses exploit students and think that they can get away with this
To end the seminar a couple of things were suggested such as safe spaces for students to hang and lobbying universities to alert students to some of the issues of studying in Melbourne
2.The report on International students by Moreland City Council and RMIT University
The research carried out in the report was a survey of 104 international students living in Moreland and surrounding areas.
The survey covered a few of the major topcis, such as housing, travel, work and community awareness.
Studies suggest that there needs to be more awareness about community activities and housing. A lot of International students can’t afford some of the travel to these activities let alone some of them. There needs to be further promotions and research on these things.
There also needs to be some involvement in some of the workplaces where they employ international students like for example RMIT and Krispy Kreme. Maybe there could be some research on other areas like Highpoint and Melbourne Central where they have local businesses.
The report also mentioned that travel is quite expensive and most students can’t afford it when not necessary.
It is also suggested that some of the students feel unsafe particularly in areas like Dandenong and Footscray. Do you agree with this?