Ms Danielle Hartridge1, Mr Gary Lee1, Mr Sahil Puri1
1Independent, Melbourne, Australia
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, international students have been vulnerable to numerous hardships. These are compounded by COVID-19. Not only are international students stranded in the Australia (unable or unsure about continuing their studies or going home), many lost jobs and have little or no support from family of friends
Federal, state and local governments, along with education providers and the local community reached out to support international students during COVID-19 with the provision of hardship funds and the offer of support services.
Through a series of online, small group discussions with international students; we were able to uncover some real, and unique challenges that international students were experiencing during the Pandemic, clearly demonstrating that every student has complex and distinct challenges.
Students were faced with many challenges such as the financial pressures, adapting to the move to online learning, social isolation and mental health. Were these students adequately supported? What were the gaps that emerged in the support that was being provided? And do we really understand the depths of the issues that our international students are really facing?
Danielle has been involved in international education for more than 25 years. She began her career at Monash University in 1991 and was the Associate Director International Student Experience at Victoria University from December 2005 until March 2016