An International Student Hub has been launched in Sydney aimed at supporting international students across the city suffering from issues including low accommodation standards, social isolation and wage exploitation caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diana Olmos, a former overseas student from Colombia and International Student Community Organiser at Sydney Alliance said that currently, it is extremely important to students from outside the country a voice and space to ensure that their experience is positive and unique.
The Hub is not only a place for international students to share their problems but also a place to participate in social cohesion, capacity building, meaningful projects and leadership workshops, she added.
Go Study Australia is providing a space of over 400 sqm along with resources to host the hub and all its members.
Simon Costain, General Manager of Go Study Australia said that the agency is proud to help and provide a student support space for the hub.
He said that there is a lot of positive energy with over 50 people from different cultures visiting the hub every day and working together to exchange ideas and support great projects.
Although NSW hosts around 37% of international students in Australia, it has not had a student hub before like other states.
Costain added that it is their objective to provide a great space for the Hub to make a difference to the international student experience in NSW. By supporting the program, they hope to assist the Hub and get future funding for permanent operations to assist students in the future as well.
The City of Sydney has provided the pilot project with a grant of $100,000.
Olmos said that while this amount is good enough for now, the project actually needs a total of $200,000 to fully resource it. The same will also help pay for a professional social worker to support international students in crisis and a community worker to make social cohesion easier both inside and outside the hub.
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