Posts for the International Students Dept

International Students’ Officer’s Report – Week 12, Sem 1

The international students’ collective has been trying to plan more activities for students. In the middle of May, an event of meeting and greets for both members and non-members of International students collective has been created by International Student Office of SRC in International Student Lounge. Free food and drinks were provided in the event. The main goals of creating this event are: firstly, introduce SRC and international Student Office to students so that international students could get better services and enjoy a better university life; secondly, we aimed to introduce further plans of international student office in the rest of the semester; thirdly, students who had better ideas or problems would be encouraged to share with members and non-members so that better services could be provided to university students.

We were glad that many students have come to enjoy food and drinks. This could not only be an official event for the office to introduce working plans, but also a relaxing place for both international students and local students to communicate and share ideas about their university lives.

Another program worthy to mention is that a basic introduction passage of Australian university’s politics was made in the corporation with Australian Chinese Youth Associate (ACYA).

This project aims to share basic knowledge and situations of university politics in Australia so that more international students were able to get involved in the university activities such as campaign of SRC and USU. The article has been spread both officially in ACYA’s network platform and social network websites. We hope more and more international students could feel free to be involved in university wide activities.

Please do not be hesitated to contact with International Student Office of SRC if you have any concern. Email address: international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au

International Students’ Officer’s Report

The international students collective of USyd has been trying to get more international students involved on campus in April. We also have a new international student officer get elected from the student representative council (SRC), Lu He.  The officers are working together to talk to international students on campus and try to let as many international students to know about the legal service provided by SRC as possible. We try to expand the collective and increase the number of members of international students collective. That is why we are going to hold the first event of international students collective meet and greet night at 7pm on the 13th of May, this is our collective’s major event in May. Free food and drinks will be provided; the purpose of this event is to gather all members or non-members to meet each other, get to know and join the collective, and also introduce the legal service to students which provided by the SRC for international students, local students are also welcome to join, we also need local students to support out collective.

The major program of the collective in May is the free language exchange program. This idea is new from the collective, in order to improve international students’ English and, English communication skills and help them to get more interaction with local students, local students who wants to learn a new language or who are currently studying a specific language in university also benefit from this program, students are paired to teach each other different languages. For example, a local student help outs with an international student with English at the first hour and international student teaches a local student with their mother language at the second hour. Each section is 2hours and the collective will in charge of the match students with their time preference. This program will benefit both international and local students. The program will start from Monday, the 4th of May. We wish more both international students can join our collective and get more involved at university. If you are interested in the language exchange program, please feel free to email:
international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au

International Students Report – week 4

The International Students Collective are still supporting the Australian Discussion Group program under the regulation of University of Sydney Union every Tuesday 3 pm at International Student Lounge throughout semesters. During week 2, the collective officers met up with the USYD SRC welfare officers to discuss about our plans for international students in 2015. We are currently working on a new multi-language SRC handbook for international students with the welfare officers, we are also focusing on how to help international students to find a job after they graduate and help them to claim back their superannuation money before they leave the country. We are working on the discrimination issues with the Anti-racism Collective this semester by currently helping the Anti-racism with the first event in week 4.The collective also met up with the UTS  international students officer in week 3,we are planning to establish a cross-campus International students collective among USYD, UNSW and UTS together in 2015. The first USYD International students collective meeting has been arranged which is 2 pm on the 23rd of March at International students Lounge.

In order to help international students to claim back their superannuation money and provide more job opportunities, firstly we have to make sure more international students know about our free legal services provided by the SRC, so our plans for week 4 is to meet up with all the presidents of cultural societies in order to call out international students to join our collective as many as we can, making sure international students get to  know about the collective and all the legal services provided by SRC. Our collective officers will be keeping in touch with the Student Career Centre and the SRC legal service.For the following week 5 to week 13, we are planning to arrange a meet and greet event for international students from all over the world. Secondly, we suggest to replace the second hand bookstore at Wentworth building to a legal service centre,more international students can see it and will know about there is a free legal service in SRC. Thirdly,we focus on caring International students’ mental health, we had a survey during week 2 and found out that International students hardly know about the free mental health service on campus, so we are more International students know about the free service of CAP on campus.

International Students – take action for fair fares and against the budget

This semester has been eventful. We launched our Fair Fare campaign at the International Festival in late April, and one of our officers spoke at the May 21 rally about how the budget will affect international students.
The Fair Fare campaign is a collaborative effort of international student collectives at this university and UNSW. It seeks to raise public awareness of the currently unfair travel concession scheme. We have collected 50 photo from students and received more than 300 likes on our Facebook page.

International students are legal students in NSW yet we are only entitled to limited travel concession. We are eligible for a discount between 24 to 35 per cent for a quarterly or yearly MyMulti 2 or 3. In order to access these discounts, students need to pay for these tickets upfront, with price starting from $425. Access to these tickets is controlled education provider: students need to retain
a one-time code from the university and use it to purchase tickets online.

This scheme not only brings unfairness, but also safety concerns. Students, out of financial considerations, will choose to walk home alone during night time than catching a bus or train. Buying a full price ticket everyday costs a considerable amount of money for a student. We call for all students, local and international, to support this campaign. You can simply ‘like’ and share our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/fairfarensw), or participate in our ongoing photo shoot.

We wholeheartedly support the rally against cuts to higher education, because we believe that it will affect International Students. One of our officers, Emma, spoke at the USYD rally about how the federal budget will compromise teaching quality and its consequences. International Students are not cash cows and we will not pay for the education that does not value as much as it costs. Current students, though immune from fee deregulation, will suffer as the Australian government compromise education quality.  Future students will be rational enough to analyse their choices for education destination. Australia will hence become a less attractive destination when tuition fees increases as well as living expenses.

We are passionate about all issues concerning International Students. Please feel free to contact any of us if you have any questions or concerns, or if you’d like to get involved in our campaigns. Simply shoot us an email at  international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au, or leave a comment in our Facebook group: search for ‘USYD Students Representative Council(SRC) International Students Officers’.

Emma Liu, Xinchen Liu, Sherry Vanbo and James Wang.

International Students Officers advocating for equal rights for International Students

We are honoured to be your International Students Officers this year and continue to advocate for equal rights for International Students. International students make up over 20% of the student population at USYD and we think it is important that we are represented appropriately.

In the beginning of this year, the International Students department launched our first International Students handbook. There is heaps of useful information for newly arrived students as well as tips from ‘old’ International students. Come to our meeting and grab a copy if you missed it at O-Week.

We have also started to send out weekly bulletin and organising fortnightly collective meetings this year in order to inform students of their rights and empower more international students to raise their voices. We had a great turn-up rate for our first collective meeting in Week 2, and we were thrilled to meet so many enthusiastic international students. Thank you to all of you who came to the meeting.

We hope to meet more international activists in our coming meetings!

Our major campaign this year is on the all time controversy: travel concession. Victoria’s newly announced travel concession for international students are restricted to annual passes, which is a mimic of NSW’s quarterly or yearly MyMulti concession. These ‘concession tickets’ cost at least $410 which means that international students cannot save money unless they spend more. Besides, ‘education is Australia’s biggest non-mining export industry’, says Australia’s Education Minister Christopher Pyne – we are treated as a source of tourism. international students should be aware of the election and campaign slogans saying helping us getting cheaper travel cards, which are usually just attracting your eyes and taking advantage of your voting right. Actually, when you talk to the monopoly as a consumer instead of being more as students, it would be harder to share its profits.  It’s a tough task, though we are trying to put our effort into it and we will keep you updated on the progress.

We would like to thank all students, staff and other International Students activists who have helped and guided us when we first took office. A special thank you goes to the Honi editors, who have worked very hard for an International Students column in this paper which we believe will address the underrepresentation of International Students on campus.

In the spirit of democracy, we would like to again encourage ALL international students to
get involved:

Our next collective meetings are on every second Tuesdays, 11am to 12pm at Merewether seminar room 298. We will share pizza, drinks and your ideas about International Students advocacy. For our other events and latest information about international students, please follow us on Facebook or simply sign up via the link on our website. Otherwise you can contact us at international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au.

Emma Liu, Xinchen Liu, Sherry Vanbo and James Wang

Jay Ng & Bowie Yau update you on keeping safe in Sydney

Welcome (back) to the second semester everyone.

Safety Issues

We would like to inform you about a serious attack and robbery last week in Perth. A Japanese international student was threatened with a knife by two offenders and was badly beaten at 6:20pm, as he was walking home.
As it is still winter time, sunsets really early, pay special attention to any suspicious activities or people around you when walking alone in the dark. Please be aware that listening to devices such as MP3 players or talking on phones may be distracting and hinder your ability to be aware of dangers in your own environment. If you are on campus at night and feel unsafe, you can contact our campus security (phone no.). Walk in well-lit and regularly used areas of the campus, as well as using the free shuttle bus to and from Redfern Station. If you have experienced physical danger or threats, please do not be afraid to contact to the police or other relevant services.

For more information, check out the City of Sydney flyer.

Council of International Students Australia

The international students collective has attended the CISA conference over the break. It was an insightful event and we would like to welcome their new president, Thomson Ch’ng. Our collective has been working with Mr. Ch’ng and he is the best and professional candidate to represent all international students. CISA is a non-profit organization that aims to unify and help all international students. If you are interested in connecting with them and joining their events such as International Students Leadership Program, check out cisa.edu.au.

international.officers@src.usyd.edu.au

 

Jay Ng explains two issues that are particularly relevant to USYD international students

Last week, the SRC had a council meeting and there was a motion being discussed that is important for international students:
The SRC urges the Dean of each Faculty of the University to exercise their discretion and allow the international students who are members of the Council as defined by Part One of the SRC regulations, to study part time should such requests are made and their memberships to the Council are verified by the President of the SRC.

AND

The President of the SRC to verify a person’s membership to the Council as defined by Part One of the SRC regulations upon request.
It had been pointed out by a few council members that this motion is not viable due to the fact that international students’ study visas to Australia have restrictions in terms of study load and work hours. (International students must study full-time, no less than 4 units of study and work no more than 40 hours a fortnight). However, as an international student, I support this motion in the sense that international students should have their own freedom to choose the study load they desire to engage in – especially when we are paying ~$12,000 per semester. It has been absolutely difficult for the other international students officers and I to carry out campaigns to help international students having to balance between university work and SRC campaigns. Therefore, I am hoping that there will be more discussions open on this subject matter and see what could be done. Please feel free to send the SRC an email to let us know your opinions.

Alan Jones’ Comment on Boston Bombing: Alan Jones has made a ridiculous comment on the Boston Bombing tragedy on Channel 7 Sunrise the other day. He links the tragic incident to foreign students, gave a racist presumption that the foreign student population initiated the bombing and that the Australian government has to keep an eye on foreign students.

His statement is completely horrific and inaccurate. The SRC International Students Collective thinks that it harms the relationship between the local Australian community and the huge international population. We strongly believe international students from all over the world come to Australia for the quality education and a different life experience. Education service for international students is an important and growing industry in Australia that cannot be undermined. Recent statistics show international students contribute an estimate $15 billion per year to the Australian economy. Furthermore, international students do not solely contribute to Australia’s financial benefits. The population helps shape the nation’s multiculturalism, contributes to labour and volunteering as well.