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‘A dream come true’: An Indian student’s reaction to Australia’s shock reopening of borders

Australia travel ban
It’s been two long years for international students waiting to hear on the lift of the Australia travel ban. Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally announced on Monday, Nov. 22 that more than 200,000 students can return to the country from next month without an exemption. Source: Study International

It’s been two long years for international students waiting to hear the easing of  Australia travel ban. 

This finally happened today. Prime Minister Scott Morrison formally announced on Monday, Nov. 22 that more than 200,000 students can return to the country from next month without an exemption.

For Sanchez Joseph from India, an RMIT University student enrolled in a Master’s in Professional Accounting, this long-awaited news is a “dream come true.”

We caught up with her to learn more about what the lifting of the Australia travel ban means to her and her future plans:

How long have you been locked out of Australia?

I’ve been locked out since 2020 but I’ve managed to defer my course until February next year despite being asked to take online classes. 

What do you make of the Australia travel ban lift for next month? Does it give you hope? 

The news of students other visa holders being allowed to enter is definitely a dream come true. It’s been overwhelming and I went through a lot of emotions. It’s been a hectic wait and pretty difficult too. I’ve got high hopes that I can finally fly in time for my upcoming semester.

Has your uni helped prepare you throughout this journey?

I’m glad my uni let me defer my course this past year — that itself was a huge support. They also sent me emails to keep me updated about the Victoria pilot plan and updates on the Australia travel ban lift.

Can you share what your educational journey has been like so far?

It’s yet to start and I’m glad if things go well, I’ll be on campus by February next year. I was super worried I would have to do everything online if the Australia travel ban lift didn’t take place. In comparison, the time zone wasn’t something I was super concerned about though.

What’s one thing you’re most looking forward to doing in Australia?

The one thing I’m looking forward to the most is the multi-cultural exposure and diverse things I’ll get to experience firsthand along with growing as a person.