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

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