Student selected for Canberra talkfest

Security, employment opportunities and basic living information are just some of the points La Trobe postgraduate and international student from India Anuj Sarhgi will raise at the International Student Round Table in Canberra on the 14 and 15 September.

Anuj portraitInvited by the Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Julia Gillard, to be part of an expert delegation, Anuj says that international students have many concerns- safety is just one of them.

‘Employability is a really important issue. Often employers can be hesitant giving jobs to International students because they believe they are open to more responsibility by taking them on’ he says. 

While this issue is a major problem for many students, it is compounded by the lack of work experience options available to international students. The development of an internship style program is one solution that Anuj would like to raise during his time in Canberra, an outcome that would enable those studying in Australia to benefit from some much needed ‘hands on experience’ during their stay.

La Trobe Deputy Vice Chancellor (International and Future Students) John Rosenberg says the Round Table will lead to a better understanding of the international student experience and benefit the nearly 5000 international students studying at La Trobe.

‘I’m proud that Anuj has been selected for this important event as his views, if acted upon, could help to improve the student experience we offer for onshore international students.’

A medical doctor in India, Anuj is currently completing his Masters of Public Health and knows all too well that practical experience is a vital component of any study. 

Another problematic area for International students is the underling lack of ‘day to day’ knowledge available to students before they move to Australia. There is a need, according to Anuj, to push for standardised, mandatory information to be available for each new student.

‘Often International students arrive with very little understanding of the rules and regulations of living in Australia. Knowledge on rental and working rights is generally poor and they are easily taken advantage of, ‘ he says.

It’s a situation Anuj was familiar with.

‘We arrived to find our house was 2 kilometres away from any public transport, but because we were under contract we couldn’t move and because we were students we were ineligible for a loan so we couldn’t buy a car.’  
Now Anuj has a chance to make a difference on a national stage.

The Round Table is the latest step in the Rudd Government’s commitment to achieving the best possible education for all international students. Discussion of the outcomes will begin with the inaugural meeting of State and Territory Education Ministers at the Ministerial Council on Tertiary Education and Employment in November.

The International Student Round Table will be held in Canberra on the 14 – 15 September.

Interview/ photo opportunity by appointment only

To arrange, please call:
James Ayers, Media and Communication Officer,
La Trobe University on 9479 1187