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Reallty of International students in Australia
Old 28th October 2009, 01:23 PM   #1
kay_82
 
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Default Reallty of International students in Australia

When Amit Menghani graduates with an engineering degree in December, the achievement will be tarnished by his past bruises.

The 24-year-old international student says he's not sure if he's willing to stay in Australia or if he'll head home to India.

It will depend if he's offered a job but, after being assaulted three years ago and the recent attacks in Melbourne against Indian students, he says he remains worried about racial discrimination.

As he prepares to leave Australia, hundreds of his fellow international students will hold a farewell party in Melbourne on Wednesday to share their experiences, good and bad.

"I have mixed feelings," Mr Menghani told AAP as he described his experience living in Melbourne as an RMIT student.

"When I came here for the first two years, I enjoyed it. But it's gone downhill since then."

About 120 people are expected to attend the first party of its type at the recently-opened International Student Centre in Bourke Street, giving students a chance to say goodbye before leaving Australia.

"The main thing is to let people know that Melbourne is a great place. Come back again some time," says Sue Ellson of the Newcomers Network, who is co-hosting the event with the Salvation Army and the City of Melbourne.

Ms Ellson has heard horror stories from international students far worse than Mr Menghani's - including the story of one woman who resorted to prostitution to pay her tuition.

But she hopes the event will help spread the word among international students that there are many resources available and people who want to help them - and that level of support is growing.

"There are sources of support around but quite often they will only get information from somebody that speaks the same language so they won't know about it," she says.

Gautam Gupta, a spokesman for the Federation of Indian Students of Australia, says the Victorian farewell event is a great idea.

Any students who have had a bad experience here would be able to talk it over with someone at the event before they leave, he said.

"This could give them a sense of closure," he said. "It's a welcome move."

While he was thrilled to hear of the farewell event, Mr Gupta said he was still worried about the next wave of international students who would begin their studies in Melbourne next year.

"If anyone is thinking twice over about coming here, I would ask them to rethink it about three or four more times," he says.

"Think it over carefully."
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Old 29th October 2009, 01:35 PM   #2
Sheelagh Blanckenberg
 
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Sheelagh Brigid Blanckenberg Registered Migration Agent
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Thanks for the post kay_82.

Unfortunately the picture painted in this article is a sad reality for many international students in Australia.

I still shake my head in disbelief that the rorts and scandalous behaviour by some in the education / migration industry were allowed to continue for as long as they did.
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