Saturday, 13 June 2009

Advice for Indian students going to Australia

The attacks on Indian students in Australia go on unabated. Today, Hardik Bipinbhai Patel, a commercial cookery student at Melbourne University, was attacked and robbed. A group of Sri Lankans were attacked in Canberra. Yesterday, a student was beaten up in a mall in Adelaide.

By the Australian police own admission, there have been 1447 reported attacks on Indians last year. This year, the number is all set to rise. For finally, the Indians are reporting the attacks, which they might not have earlier.

Meanwhile the Indian government has come up with an advisory. It gives the Indian students some tips, which are reproduced here --

Before leaving for Australia
  • Be fully informed of all actual costs involved, as also of relevant rules governing work, housing and other aspects of living in Australia. You are strongly advised to do adequate research.
  • Study the official website of the Government of Australia for international students.
  • Make sure institution offering the course has good reputation, especially if it is private.
  • Go through website of educational institution and cross check if needed with the Education Officer at the Australian High Commission in Delhi or consulates in Mumbai and Chennai.
  • Make sure you have written agreement from the institution before paying any fees. This will be especially helpful in settling disputes if any.
After you arrive in Australia
  • Please register with Indian High Commission / Consulate as soon as possible.
  • Familiarise yourself with the student services offered by your educational institution, such as counselling services, help in finding suitable accommodation and jobs, assistance in improving your English etc.
  • Whatever accommodation you choose, remember it is your responsibility to maintain it and keep it clean.
  • Seek details about the security situation in and around your university and place of stay, as well as, local policing arrangements from the university authorities.
  • You should also contact local Indian associations and keep in touch with them.
The government means well. But these guidelines are not going to stop the attacks. One of the reasons we learn Indians are being attacked is because they are considered "passive", easy targets. They are not being attacked because their houses are not clean. The problem lies with the Australian society and is best tackled from their end.

The only advice to students still contemplating admission in a univeristy in Australia -- Get admission into a good university and stay on the campus. If you cannot, stay away from Australia. You will save your parents many sleepless, stomach churning nights and lakhs of rupees.

To read more on the subject -

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