International students running out of money

More than half the international students surveyed believed their financial stress will deepen (Bigstock)

Thousands of international students say they are unable to pay for food or rent after losing their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, and many fear they will soon run out of money. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

A national survey of more than 5000 international students and 1000 other temporary migrants conducted in July found 70 per cent had lost all or most of their work.

Thousands of international visa holders said they were unable to pay for food and rent and unable to qualify for social security. More than a third have relied on emergency support including charity to meet essential needs.

In the report As if we weren't humans: The abandonment of temporary migrants in Australia during COVID-19, authors University of NSW law Associate Professor Bassina Farbenblum and University of Technology Sydney law Associate Professor Laurie Berg said one in five surveyed said they were not able to return to their home countries because flights were unavailable or unaffordable or because international borders were closed.

More than a quarter overall and 30 per cent of international students said they were unable to pay for food at some time since March 1. One in five could not pay for heating or electricity and one in 10 could not afford to pay for medicine or see a doctor.

More than half the respondents (57 per cent) believed their financial stress would deepen, with one in three international students forecasting their funds would run out by October.

A spokeswoman for Families and Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the Government has provided the Red Cross with $13 million since April to support temporary visa holders, including international students, who have been affected.


Thousands of international students are running out of money (By Anna Patty, Sydney Morning Herald) 

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