The struggle of international students in Australia

Life is not without barriers and international students face it as a struggle period towards their better future.

Students, often from countries like India, Pakistan, China, and Nepal come to Australia for higher education. Little they know is that the life here is completely different from where they come from.

Most of them come on their own, leaving behind their families, friends and regular life, in pursuit of the better future.

Once they lands on soil of Australia, the struggle starts. Here, the word struggle does not just mean, going to work or university and doing hard work but also the mental and psychological pressure.

Top 4 problems international students face

Cultural shock

Australia is a country with diversified population. People here come from all over the world; some for studies, work and some for pleasure. Difference in culture can play a vital role in a student life.

The first thing they encounter is the education system. Generally, education in Asian countries is more of face to face rather than online or with audio visual.

Teachers, usually, use a single text book to complete the syllabus but here most of the studies are done online. For example assessments are submitted online and learning is done through blackboard.

Students will find it difficult to make friends during the first few weeks and generally don’t open up to anyone. These cultural differences will give them the feeling of home sickness but gradually with passage of time, it will all be normal.


Living expenses, here, in Australia is comparatively expensive than Asian countries. Students need to find a job right after they come here.

The regular expenses like room rent, transportation cost and food can be of a good headache. So, students immediately start job hunt before the college or university starts.  The only problem here they will face is a lot of ejection due to lack of Australian work experience.

This is when most of them opt to work like housekeeping, working as kitchen hand and working at fast food restaurants. However, after completing the studies, most of them get into their own field of work.

Bank loans and credit cards

Students can only work for designated 20 hours per week. They get paid around $400 on average after tax depending upon the pay rate of the company they work in.

The pay they get from working 20 hours are not enough for the daily expenses. So, students opt to other sources of income like applying for a credit card. Credit cards can be of great relief at time of need but it also takes high interest rate if not paid on time.

Permanent residence

Students who graduate can apply for the permanent residence visa or other temporary visa as they will not be able to stay in country once their student visa expires.

Students have to fulfill certain the criteria and get a good marks in IELTS. This process not only takes time but also money. And after all this, there is still no guarantee of permanent residence status.

Though there are some struggles at the initial phase, life can be very smooth once the hurdles are crossed and settled.

Alok Kharel
Alok Kharel
Alok Kharel, based in Darwin Northern Territory, Australia. Alok comes originally from Nepal and he has been living in Australia for 6 and half years. Being interested in literature from young age, he started writing and reading several novels, poems and small stories. He is also a sports loving person and among all the sports, he loves playing cricket. Contact: [email protected]
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