Hardships Faced by Foreign Students in Australia

Hardships Faced by Foreign Students in Australia

Universities in Australia admit students from all over the world. Students from other countries and continents prefer Australian tertiary institutes of education because of their positive status. Students are also influenced by the connection created by the government between academic qualification and stable citizenship. While some students claim to be satisfied with the conditions in Australia, others admit to facing a lot of challenges, for example, language barrier, economic problems, cultural barrier, and feeling insecure and lack of channels to access the facilities they need (Nelson, B., 2013). Exploitation, harassment, and discrimination are possible challenges that the international students face. The intense of these challenges differ from a student to another based on the personality, social, economic backgrounds, cultural backgrounds, gender, age, and political backgrounds Gamage and Mininberg, 2013, p. 184). The challenges mainly occur when dealing with employers, immigration agents, health providers, public servants and real estate agents. The Australian government has the responsibility to protect the right of every individual citizen, including the international students.


This paper relies on studies that used qualitative approaches to obtain information from the students through interviews. The gathered data represented the feelings of the students studying in Australia. Interview meetings facilitated opportunities for investigators to examine the challenges that international students while in Australia. This studies used in this paper used descriptive, intrinsic and problem-based case methodologies. The researchers based their studies on phenomenological approaches to explore interviews. The researchers were natural because they focused on examining the ideal problems faced by foreign students in Australia.

The hardships faced by the global students seeking education in Australian institutions are continuous (Gamage, and Mininberg, 2013). The similarities and differences between the real problem and what the international students perceive are not clear. Their feelings are different based on gender, language proficiency, political, social, economic age and cultural backgrounds. To understand student challenges calls for the problem-based research. Likewise, this paper has focused on studies addressing a problem that is “challenges facing international students studying in Australia.” This paper uses qualitative studies and their findings to understand the question under exploration. In doing so, the paper will focus on the qualitative studies that have explored this problem by focusing on social institutions and relationship between the international students and local students.


The findings were based on the several qualitative studies being used in this paper and they were as outlined below:

  • International students are discriminated by their culture, social political and cultural backgrounds.
  • Financial challenges are a common phenomenon to most students. Finances are needed for immigration, tuition, and dining
  • Environmental problems caused by differences in climates and hemispheres between countries. Different economies of various nations dictate living conditions.
  • Students have high academic expectations, in which the institutions are unable to provide
  • Loneliness and separation of international students from local students resulting from the belief that global students compete for their chances.


Students going to study to Australia face immigration challenges even before they start the learning process Klomegah (2009, p. 312). This finds that problems such as living conditions, climate, loneliness, stereotypes, discrimination, economic challenges, cultural differences, and language are the key challenges facing students studying in Australia.

The Environmental and Living Conditions Challenges

Different countries have different hemispheres and weather conditions. When a student moves from a region to another, the process of adapting to that weather is a big challenge (Padlee, Kamaruddin, and Baharun, 2010, p. 202). The next cold creates feelings of confusion and displacement. Climatic differences cause hard times to a student even when choosing appropriate clothes. Countries have different economies as well as living conditions. A student may find other states living conditions very high more than his home country (Stromquist, and Monkman, 2014, p. 52). The cost of living becomes an issue. These are some of the significant challenges that international students in Australia encounter.

Academic Expectations

International students have high expectations for vast and digital learning. Australian support services do not satisfactorily address their issues. Problems start with their registration, admissions, dining and residential areas some also do not graduate on time, others are placed in unrecognized courses or may be posted to a college rather than a university. These placements lead to difficulties in complications in transfer processes (Gamage, and Mininberg, 2013, p. 195)

Loneliness and separation

International students prefer to study in Australia, expecting to create good ties with residents, live like them and have great futures about their social life (Nelson, 2013, p. 22). They later realize the variation between their dreams and the life realities in Australia. The gap formed between the ideals and reality creates a challenge to cope with the social life. Students lose confidence, feel the sense of isolation, loss, loneliness and have no leisure time. They also receive resentments and treated as the unsolicited guest. Local students believe that they are resentful because they came to compete for their opportunities (Lee and Rice.2012, p. 394). This grudge results in isolation of the international students from the local students. Lee & Rice (2007, p. 394) reported that international students are overlooked during lessons and left out of group discussions and in other social activities by fellow students Other students feel isolated due to their proficiency in English (Ryan et al. 2009, p. 310). It undermined the efforts done by these students.


Students from Africa and non-American countries who have grown in an environment without bias finds it challenging to face discrimination on arrival to Australia (Sawir et al. 2008, p. 167) Perception is evidence in classrooms.  “One student dropped her studies because of being called a stupid nigger in class.”(Constatine, 2005, p.). It also reveals itself in the feeling that others are inferior to the Americans. African students face adverse judgment from African Americans. They still believe that African’s color is till now present. Asian students fear to share the same apartments with African students. Negative comments about their homes and cultures are also a source of discrimination.

Financial Concern

Financial instability among many students is a challenge. Finances are needed for a living, food, shelter, and clothing and including tuition fees (Lee & Rice, 2007, p. 400).The immigration process is costly. Most of the scholarships s don’t cover up everything the student needs. International students are enrolled as full-time students’ .they do not get work permits to run a business. With the issues of discrimination, it’s challenging to be employees as a foreigner in a country. All these factors make it hard for a student to be satisfactory. They rely on their parents for financial aids. The process of transferring money to distance country is an also very expensive.


Australian universities are regarded as one of the best. Many students want to study in Australia for their higher education; they have high expectations from the Australian institutions. However international students face challenges such as financial crisis, discrimination, environment and living conditions among others. The intense of these challenges differ from a student to another by personality, social, economic backgrounds, cultural; backgrounds, gender age, and political backgrounds. The Australian government and United Nations Human rights have tried to address the challenges facing the international students in their country.


Nelson, B., 2003. Our universities: Backing Australia’s future. Canberra: Department of Education, Science, and Training.

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