I am an international student living in Melbourne, Australia, after I left my nest Nepal in July, 2019. I commenced with building a new one from the very day I arrived but that's obviously a tough task for students like us. Life was progressing steadily although certain circumstances have changed in recent months due to the COVID-19 virus.
The virus was prevailing, and more lockdown restrictions were imminent but I wasn't mentally prepared for that. I was consistently working on my casual job and I wasn't ready to lose my source for rent, bills and grocessaries. Bang! There began the third stage lockdown, which closed all the cafes, restaurants, bars and other hospitality industries. As you can guess, I lost my shifts as well.
The government commenced with subsidies for Australian citizens, for permanent residents and for those Australian students who lost their jobs. A little bit of hope roused within us but all that hope was vain. Our contribution for the community; our tax was all in vain. We helped the government in some ways and while we needed them they told us to return home if we can’t feed ourselves and they can’t do anything for international students.
In my country, foreigners are treated as guests, we respect them ; we value them. I didn’t really expect that here but didn’t imagine the slap we got by the Australian government in times like these. Neither can I go home nor can I live in Melbourne for a long time without some source of income. To survive, I am struggling in every way I can, I have already applied for hundreds of jobs, still I’m jobless.
The strong tempest has pervaded in the international students which is shoving them back to their respective domicile whereas universities are detaining. They can’t go back without accomplishing their study and staying here seems more difficult.
Does Australian government think any of those international students who are in anguish now will call their siblings, neighbours, relatives to study in this country? Do they think this act will have adverse effects on that $40billion that comes annually from international students? A big question for everyone concerned.
Recently, they announced some subsidies for international students who have lost jobs due to the pandemic and surely some of us will get help. I appreciate the government’s effort now to help out international students and hope they treat everyone the same in these unprecedented circumstances, at least.