Coronavirus: The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting International Student Especially Hard

stay home isolation
An international student during isolation at home | Photo by Harry Ainsworth

A Chinese friend of mine came to see me before leaving Sydney: “This time is too hard, I am here alone, I  can’t survive it anymore.” Her tone was very calm, but I couldn’t see a trace of light on her face . “Go back and have a relax.” I thought for a long time but I can do nothing.

Emphasize people's bad moods during COVID-19
International students during COVID-19 suffer a range of mental health problems source:Lizzie Knott | BBC News

Due to the rapid spread of coronavirus worldwide, the Australian government has issued a series of bans and lockdown measures throughout the city. Due to the complexity of the virus, the exact answer as to when to unblock is still inconclusive. Based on this background, I am interested in writing feature stories on mental health issues for international students in Australia during COVID-19. It is easy to ignore the mental health problems of international students, especially during the special lockdown period. My point of view will be about the negative impact of mental health problems in the face of irresistible factors, and how to get out of the dilemma for students with mental problems.

Inspiration for the story

Bupa‘s research report stated that the “extreme” pressure for Australian international students began before they came to Australia. According to the QS registered international student survey, the report specifically pointed out that potential students are twice as likely to suffer from depression as ordinary students. The PIE News reports that in many countries, depression and mental health problems are often considered a shame, which means that students ’ability to identify potential dangers is reduced, or students’ ability to discuss and seek help is reduced. I want to write a special story to record the mental health problems of international students, let people understand the importance of emotional management, and discuss how to overcome effective solutions to overcome mental problems in this particular period.


I also want to discuss the following issues:

  • Has the mental health problems of international students attracted attention?
  • How does mental health counseling work? Who will guide this process? Will there be danger in the process?
  • What kind of social phenomenon is this psychological problem? What impact will it have?
importance of mental health
The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting International Student Especially Hard | WIRED


International students have always been a high-profile group. COVID-19’s  policy guarantees readers’ interest in stories related to the psychological problems of Australian international students, whether they are affected student groups, the general public, or experts and scholars in education.

I want to recommend this story to BBC News for the following reasons:

  • BBC News has a series of special reports on Coronavirus and mental health
  • large base readership and strong  influence


The source of this feature article comes from three aspects. The first is related news reports on mental health issues of Australian international students, leading to mental health problems that have always been serious social problems. Secondly, through interviews with individual cases, I will explore the dilemma of mental health problems for international students under the influence of the government blockade policy during the epidemic. Third, I will discuss Australia ’s existing mental health assistance program and more feasible plans in the future.

List of sources:

  • Interview with 2-3 international students affected by the epidemic and having serious psychological problems
  • Interview Bupa for in-depth understanding of psychological problems of Australian international students (to obtain relevant data)
  • International Student Survey report from QS
  • Mental health special report from BBC News

Multimedia, Hypertext, Interactivity and SEO

I plan to create a video content section for interviews with international students. Meanwhile, I will collect relevant data through medical organizations and create charts to illustrate the importance of mental health issues in a visual form.

My online narrative will also include the following:

  • Video of an interview with several international students
  • Table of data from the Australian survey of international students’ mental health
  • Expert videos on mental health issues (see below)
About Lu Zheng 3 Articles
Current majoring in Digital Communication and Culture at the University of Sydney. Contact:

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