International students struggle to settle in Perth

A new report has found that some international students studying in Western Australia’s capital city, Perth, find it hard to settle in the city.

The Understanding the International Student Experience report, carried out by StudyPerth, questioned more than 5,600 current and prospective international students and education agents about their experiences.

Many students said that they struggle to make friends with Australians because locals are not overly interested in international students.

About 30 per cent of respondents said engagement with local students at their school or university was poor or very poor.

“Most students interviewed… suggested that more could be done to integrate with local students and that they struggle to form friendships with Australians, who are generally seen as being superficially friendly but disinterested in international students,” the report said.

The city of Perth itself, however, was viewed as being an overwhelmingly positive place to live.

A total of 91 per cent of those surveyed agreed that it is a great place to live.

“Perth and its educational institutions have a wonderful, world-class product, so it’s vital that we promote our attractions and benefits in a co-ordinated, consistent and comprehensive way,” said StudyPerth executive director Phil Payne.

While around 85 per cent of students said safety at their university or school was excellent or good, there were a small amount that felt threatened at night, particularly on public transport.

Many students also said that they found it hard to find part-time employment has the majority of employers in the city lack understanding of how student visas work.

Article published 16th July 2018