To make ends meet, some university students are working “extreme hours,” but a crackdown is approaching.

To make ends meet, some university students are working “extreme hours,” but a crackdown is approaching.

To make ends meet, some university students are working “extreme hours,” but a crackdown is approaching:

During his break from school, Sadman Arafat spends his days and nights working hard to pay his rent.

In order to take orders and serve food at a restaurant in Melbourne’s southeast, the 21-year-old international student works an average of 60 hours every week.

In one week, I worked a record-breaking close to 75 hours, he claimed.

In December 2022, Sadman made his way from Bangladesh to Australia when the COVID-19 limitations were relaxed and the country’s borders opened to foreign students.

In order to meet the epidemic labor shortage, limits on student visa work hours have been temporarily lifted. The federal government declared late last year that the limits on student employment hours would be reintroduced as of 30 June. They were formerly limited to 40 hours every two weeks.

The Department of Home Affairs acknowledged a cap will be reinstated in a statement to SBS Broadcasting, but it will reassess the fortnightly limit after consulting with top organizations to determine what is best for people with student visas.

A spokeswoman stated, “The number of hours will be decided after consultation with peak bodies across the business and education sectors, with a view to striking the correct balance between work and study.” “Students will be informed of the change before it goes into effect.

In a statement to SBS Broadcasting, the Department of Home Affairs admitted that a cap will be reinstated, but it will review the fortnightly limit after working with leading organizations to establish what is best for persons with student visas.

A spokesperson said, “After consulting with leading organizations from the business and educational sectors, the number of hours will be set in order to strike the right balance between employment and study.” “The modification will be explained to the students before it is implemented.”

The announcement, he claims, “put me in a state of fear.”

“I can only afford to cut a few hours because, at the end of the day, I need to make the minimal amount of income I need every week to survive,” he adds. “My main objective here is to study, but I can only afford to cut a few hours,” he says.

He finds it difficult to eat, his mental health has suffered, and he is constantly concerned about how he will maintain his academic standing as a result of his weariness.

I need to make the minimum amount of pay I need every week to survive. (Sadman Arafat)
According to a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs, the cap will aid in obtaining an “excellent” education and “preserving the quality and reputation of Australia’s overseas education and training sector.”
“That is taxing, but there is nothing we can do.”
Madhu Damodarasamy, in contrast to Sadman, was aware of the imminent crackdown on the work caps for international students, and she dreads the day when they will be reinstated.

Madhu is an Indian foreign student who is in her last year of a master’s program in engineering management. Over the break, she has been working 50 hours per week.

The only way she can pay her rent, which has increased from $700 per month to almost $1,000 in a year, is to work long hours, despite the fact that she claims they are “very exhausting.” She also has an application for permanent residency in the back of her mind, which she estimates will cost $3,500.

When she returns to university after working a constant double shift from 11 to 11, she explains, “I have to study until at least 1 am to accomplish my homework.”

Madhu is an Indian foreign student who is in her last year of a master’s program in engineering management. Over the break, she has been working 50 hours per week.

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When she returns to university after working a continuous double shift from 11 to 11, she explains, “I have to study until at least 1 am to manage my homework.”

She will have to reduce her pay by more than 50% in less than six months in order to comply with regulations and keep up with Australia’s rising cost of living.

That is tiresome, but there is little we can do because expenses are so exorbitant everywhere.

Another international student from India, Naunihal Singh, works 35 hours a week in a supermarket at various supermarkets in Melbourne.

He claims, “Since I’ve been working in a supermarket, I’ve noticed the prices growing.”

“And just because inflation is rising, salaries don’t automatically rise by 8%.” So managing it is becoming more difficult.

Naunihal, like many other university graduates who come from overseas, wants to stay in Australia and obtain a permanent visa or continue her education.

Naunihal declares, “I am working as much as I can today to save money, understanding that the constraints will return soon.”

Real earnings only increased by 3.1% in the year ending September 2022, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, despite certain industries offering considerable salary increases. The inflation rate, which reached 7.8 percent in the year ending in December and was the highest since 1990, considerably outpaced this.

My wages are nearly the same as they were when I first began working [in February of last year], but my rent, fuel prices, and cost of living have all increased in addition to my tuition fees, Sadman claims.

The national president of the Council of International Students of Australia, Yeganeh Soltanpour, claims that some overseas students find it difficult to concentrate at school since they hold down numerous professions.
She continues, “I know many students working long hours to make ends meet.” This is a reality for many students because of the issue of housing costs and rent.


Much greater pressure is placed on other international students. Some families sell the family home to pay for college costs and then expect the students to send money home.

Some international students, according to Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, put in too much effort.

India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka are among the countries with a sizable student population in Australia. Some are working up to 100 hours per week at multiple jobs, according to Mr. Honeywood.

But, we are aware of many people who are under mental health strain from relatives back home who tell them, “Well, if you can earn that many Australian dollars by working countless hours while you’re purportedly studying full-time, then you can send money home.”

Students are under pressure to send money home because “expectations are high.”
According to Mr. Honeywood, candidates seeking study visas must demonstrate their ability to sustain themselves and pay for their education. Nonetheless, some families expect students to continue working, and managing full-time school with a job can be challenging.

“The burden on you is great if you work two or three part-time jobs at all hours of the day and night, “He claims.

Three to four university students visit Dr. Madhvi Mohindra’s private counseling office in Parklea, western Sydney, each week.

In 2009, Dr. Mohindra moved to Australia from northern India.

“I understand Indian culture and practices because I am an immigrant from India.” I am aware of certain young people who are studying overseas and whose families anticipate receiving financial support from them right away,” “she claims.

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