While many people in Australia are preparing to spend holidays with their loved ones as the Coronavirus restrictions begin to alleviate, border restrictions which allow citizens and permanent residents return to the country still mean that international students will not be able to return again for some time, if they leave.
As a result, international students will be unable to leave Australia during holidays as a consequence of COVID-19 pandemic, Erudera College News reports.
Decheng Sun from China, a student at the University of Sydney will not be able to celebrate the Lunar New Year in China, neither will have the chance to celebrate with his Chinese friends as most of them have been stuck in China since the beginning of the year due to border closures.
The latter haven’t even been notified from the government when they will be permitted to return to Australia and resume studies.
Since the beginning of the Coronavirus outbreak, the federal government refused to extend wage assistance to international students, whereas many of them lost their jobs as employers’ priority was to offer work opportunities to locals in order to receive the support of the government.
In response to this, Prime Minister Scot Morrison said to students that they should make their way home in case they cannot support themselves.
Param Mahal, a computer science student from India, said that in difficult times, international students expect that the government would show compassion about the situation they were in.
“But in this case, there wasn’t. There was compassion for everyone apart from international students and temporary residents.”
Although the Chinese government has advised the potential students to avoid going to Australia due to racism, students still claim that the majority of Australians are welcoming.
Sun has advised his relatives to consider Australia as a study destination, adding that the local community leaders, charities, as well as some politicians, have supported international students.
Recently, the University of Queensland in Australia announced that it would support annually up to 10 students who are refugees or asylum seekers, by offering them study scholarships.
Despite Australian universities and the federal government continually encouraging international students to return to the country next year, many of them emphasized they do not want to return again. Whereas, the reason why they have decided to not return and pursue their studies later in 2021 in Australia is due to fear about travel restrictions and remote learning.