‘Can’t Afford Fruits’ Cost-Of-Living Crisis Hits Indian Students In Australia

‘Can’t Afford Fruits’ Cost-Of-Living Crisis Hits Indian Students In Australia

I can only afford the simplest requirements like bread and butter and cannot purchase fruits and dry fruits.’ – An Indian student in Melbourne.

Megha ChowdhuryUpdated: Monday, June 12, 2023, 09:47 AM IST
article-image
According to a 2022 NSU poll, over 11% of international students used food banks, and 33% relied on credit cards. | Representative image

International students continue to have difficulty affording the high cost of living and prohibitive tuition costs in Australia. On March 14, 2023, the Monash Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice (CYPEP) published research that suggests increasing funding and services for international students attending Australian universities.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs estimates that there will be 86,782 Indian students studying in Australia in 2022, making India the second-largest source country for international student enrolments in Australia. However, some of these Indian students told the Free Press Journal that they have had to sacrifice dietary variety and quality due to limited resources (time, money, and knowledge).

“The price of food has grown, and so we have gone from good quality to cheap quality,” says Harsh Nathani, an Indian student at the University of Melbourne. “Yes, this is happening despite the government's best attempts to control inflation,” he added.

Nathani has set his weekly budget at 150 AUD, but he says, “I can only afford the simplest requirements like bread and butter and cannot purchase fruits and dry fruits. Put another way, people are eating less nutritious food.”

Disha Khemani, a student at the University of Sydney, said, “The Australian government is surely aware that cost-of-living pressures affect international students as well as many Australians.”

According to Khemani, “This will result in the reintroduction of the work hours cap for Australia visa holders in July, increasing from 40 hours per fortnight to 48 hours per fortnight. But we still need to find a way to balance our education and work, so this doesn't solve the problem.”

She added that she has been living on instant noodles for the past few months, “but it can't continue for a long time”. Since the borders reopened, Australia has welcomed thousands more overseas students. By February of this year, the number of international students enrolled in Australian universities had nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels.

According to recent claims in local media, neither the federal nor state administrations have taken any action to aid international students during this crisis.

“The overall cost of universities in Australia, when paired with the cost of living, just did not seem like the best option when there are so many other countries in the world that offer the same for much less,” Deepali Sajnani, an independent education consultant based in Delhi, told FPJ.

More than 600,000 international students studied in Australia last year, with 361,247 attending college or university. Students from China, India, and Nepal made up the bulk of the international student body that year.

Rent, groceries, public transport, and other necessities add up to approximately A$20,000 per year for a single international student in Australia. According to a 2022 NSU poll, over 11% of international students used food banks, and 33% relied on credit cards.

RECENT STORIES

From Chess Player To State Topper, Meet Maharashtra's Only 100% Scorer In HSC Exams

From Chess Player To State Topper, Meet Maharashtra's Only 100% Scorer In HSC Exams

J&K Bank Recruitment 2024: Registrations Open For 276 Apprentice Posts, Check Eligibility Now

J&K Bank Recruitment 2024: Registrations Open For 276 Apprentice Posts, Check Eligibility Now

UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2024: What Went Wrong?

UPSC Prelims Answer Key 2024: What Went Wrong?

Despite Multiple Bone Fractures, Thane Girl Scores 99.4%, Tops Her School

Despite Multiple Bone Fractures, Thane Girl Scores 99.4%, Tops Her School

Grade 12 ISC Topper Secures University Of Bristol Admission

Grade 12 ISC Topper Secures University Of Bristol Admission