Australian States to Welcome International Students in December: What Should Returning Students Know?

Australia’s borders have remained closed to international students for more than 600 days now. However, their return to the country is expected to happen by the end of the year, except in New South Wales, where international students will be able to return earlier, starting December 6, 2021.

So far, the Australian government has approved International Student Arrival Plans of New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland, Erudera.com reports.

International arrivals, including students, are required to be vaccinated with a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) – approved or recognized vaccine when entering Australia, with some exemptions for children and those providing medical reasons.

New South Wales’s International Students Will Return in Early December

Different from other states where international students are expected to return by the end of this year potentially or in 2022, in New South Wales, international students will start returning as of December 6, 2021. Under the NSW plan, a limited number of 250 international students will return each fortnight to Sydney.

250 students returning to NSW in early December will be nationals of over 15 countries, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, China, and Canada.

Under the pilot plan, international students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to quarantine after entering New South Wales. The government has pointed out that students studying at NSW education providers must be vaccinated with vaccines recognized by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Before the pandemic, 290,000 international students have studied in NSW, supporting more than 95,000 full-time jobs.

“They don’t just make a significant contribution to our economy, but international students play a role in our culture and contribute to our community and lifestyle,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.

Students to Return to South Australia Once 90% Of South Australians Are Vaccinated

South Australia will welcome fully vaccinated international students without the quarantine requirement once 90 percent of South Australians are vaccinated against COVID-19, which target is expected to be reached in late December this year with no restrictions on country or region departure locations.

Differently, unvaccinated travelers entering South Australia’s capital, Adelaide, still need to undergo quarantine for 14 days.

Victoria to Welcome Students by the End of 2021 Under the First Stage of Plan

Victoria’s plan on the return of international students by the end of 2021 aims to ensure a safe return for a limited number of international students, who are expected to return to the state each week.

Under the first stage of the plan, limited places will be prioritized for university students who must return to the state urgently in order to do practical work, such as health and medical students as well as postgraduate research students.

As the places will be limited, the first stage of the plan foresees universities selecting enrolled students who can return to Victoria. Those who are not contacted by university means that they have not been selected to return and must continue to study online.

During the second stage of the plan, more international students will be able to return to Victoria, including those who are enrolled at other educational institutions such as TAFEs, English-language colleges, private education providers and secondary schools as well as other universities.

Costs of flights should be covered by students, while those who are required to quarantine upon arrival will be informed by their university if they have to cover their quarantine costs.

What Is the Queensland Student Arrival Plan?

Education providers in Queensland are also working with the government to return international students to the state as well as to facilitate quarantine arrangements for students entering Queensland.

“The Queensland Student Arrivals Plan adopts a phased approach, with eligibility criteria for education providers and students expanding at each phase. All planning will continue to be informed by the local risk environment in Queensland, and any changes to local restrictions and Australia’s international borders.” State Government organisation, Study Queensland pointed out.

International students in Queensland have an important role for the state. Queensland benefited $5.8 billion from international education and training during 2019. That year, there were more than 144,000 international enrollments in Queensland from more than 150 different countries.

Queensland’s plan will also be operating under the same quarantine and public health rules.

International students enrolled at Australian universities had to pursue studies remotely since March 20, 2020, when Australia decided to close its international borders.

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