Australia: International students find Sydney ‘beautiful but expensive’

Nearly nine out of 10 students find Sydney a great place to live and study, but with high living costs. According to the Institute of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS)’s report titled “The Wellbeing of International Students in the City of Sydney”, eighty-eight percent (88%) would recommend the Australian east coast city as a place to study. Eighty percent (80%) of the respondents also stated they enjoyed studying in Sydney.

These high satisfaction levels appear to come at a price. Fifty-five percent (55%) found the high cost of living to be a key issue. Students interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald listed the high tuition fees, accommodation and transport costs as the factors driving up their cost of living.

“The tuition fees are way expensive for international students,” said Jing Su, a postgraduate student at the University of New South Wales. Su, who is from Quanzhou, China said, “We pay several times more than the locals, plus we have to find our accommodation and travel costs. It’s quite expensive.”

As for transport, foreign students are not able to enjoy the concessions to public transport fares like the locals do. To be eligible, they have to be an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or are in receipt of an approved Australian Government scholarship or exchange position, fully-funded by the Australian Government.

“It’s about time for equal fares. International students already pay so much to be able to study full-time,” said Linus Faustin from Tanzania, a communications student at University of Technology, Sydney.

High living costs could be a factor as to why sixty-six percent (66%) of international students who work in the city. While there have previously been reports of discrimination against international students at their workplaces, the report found that eighty-two percent (82%) of international students said they were treated fairly at work.

Other key findings of the report are eight-eight percent (88%) felt that they can contact the police if necessary and that fifty-five percent (55%) of students received help to find a place to live.

The City of Sydney have stated that they will use the research results and data to develop policies and practices to improve programs and initiatives for international students.

This article was originally published on Sydney Morning Herald. Read the original article.

Image via Shutterstock 

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