A new initiative called ‘Start with Us’ has been launched this week to help resolve one of the biggest issues facing international students commencing their study program in Australia.
Despite many Government Inquiries and Industry recommendations – international students continue to have trouble settling into their new way of life in Australia.
Australian Homestay Network, Manager, Julie Manche launched this week a ‘Start with Us’ campaign designed to solve the ‘settling in’ issue that many international were having.
Approved Australian households are being enlisted to host new international student arrivals for their first four weeks to help international students ease into their new life and find appropriate longer-term accommodation.
Australian participants will help the student with:
· Orientation to their new surroundings
· Support in finding longer term appropriate accommodation
· Help with individual problems as they arise
Over the last 10 years Governments in Australia and peak industry organisations have invested heavily in trying to solve this problem with limited success. The most notable reports exposing issues for international students included The Senate Inquiry into the Welfare of International Students (2009)and the Inquiry into International Student Accommodation in New South Wales (2011).
2019 Survey Finds Major Problem with International Student Accommodation
In a recent survey of international students conducted by Laurie Berg (University of Technology Sydney), Bassina Farbenblum (University of New South Wales) and colleagues on their housing experiences – what they found is ‘disgraceful’.
Some 36 per cent of international students move into shared housing when they arrive – and over half of them are exploited, by deceit over what they would get, by over-crowding and exploitation by owners.
Perhaps not surprising given 98 per cent of them organise their own housing, often via social media.
The survey is part of a project, funded by the NSW government.
International Students and Australian Economy are the Losers
Difficulties settling into a new country have often led to poor health and unsatisfactory results for the international student. This damages Australia’s reputation globally effecting our third largest export industry worth in excess of $30 billion to Australia’s economy.
Mrs Manche is welcoming key Education Agents and Education Providers involved in international education in Australia to join the ‘Start with Us’ campaign so that all adult international students can start their experience successfully in Australia.
“We want to partner with quality Education Providers and Agents to join us and promote the ‘Start with Us’ campaign to encourage even more international students coming to Australia” she said.
The Australian Homestay Network already has hosts in every major location in Australia signed up to assist with the ‘Start with Us’ campaign.
“The ‘Start with Us’ campaign is designed to give international students the perfect start to their study adventure allowing them to make better-informed long-term decisions with the support and knowledge of an experienced local host”. Mrs Manche said.
ABOUT AUSTRALIAN HOMESTAY NETWORK
Australian Homestay Network (AHN) is Australia’s largest and leading standards based-homestay provider for international students. Formed in 2008, AHN has assisted over 50,000 international students with homestay accommodation.
Our core purpose is to facilitate lifetime relationships and be the Australian leader in properly managed hosted accommodation for international students, based on the principles of accountability, integrity, transparency, personalised services, safety, insurance and 24/7 professional support. We focus on the international student experience.
Australian Homestay Network was acknowledged by the Australian Government’s Senate Inquiry into the Welfare of International Students in 2009 for having the appropriate homestay standards.