Help for overseas students

24 September 2009

Young Joo Ko and Janko Predovic in the University of Sydney's Main Quarangle (Picutre: Brent McGilvary)

Two Sydney Law School students attended the roundtable discussions in Canberra last week between international students and the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard.

Third year Arts/Law student, Young Joo Ko from Korea and second year Graduate Law student, Janko Predovic (MCrim '05) from Sweden were part of a delegation of 31 international students from across Australia.

Both commented on the experience in an interview with the Inner West Weekly.

"Pre-arrival information, concessions and safety, these were the three headline issues," Mr Predovic said.
"It seemed that many international students are somewhat misled by overseas agents who make it seem that you can work full-time.
"There's a big difference between what students expect and what they experience."
Janko said although the roundtable had been called partly because of recent attacks on Indian students, his experiences as an international student had been "positive and fantastic".
"I felt that my presence there was a counterbalance," he said.

"For me, as a native English speaker, I can find things easily. But for someone from India, Pakistan or China, finding reliable black-and-white information is hard."

Another recommendation was to develop a comprehensive manual about life in Australia.
"You don't know what neighbourhoods are like or public transport is like,"Mr Predovic said.

"A lot of the recommendations are about improving what's already done, so I don't think it's beyond the reach of government."

Ms Ko said visas were a hot topic.
"We are granted student visas but we are not really told what's going to happen once we arrive," she said.
"It would be helpful to know things like what it's like living in Australia."
The recommendations will be presented to a ministerial council later this month.

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

Email: 343e35327a07252f1410593133592f2105424e126b131713760d01