Proposal: Stay here or go home? The dilemma faced by international students under COVID-19

Image: Thomas Schlosser / Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved

International students are in a struggling situation under the influence of COVID-19. Just like the hundreds of Australians trapped overseas due to nationwide lockdowns and grounded flights, international students have found themselves stuck in Australia facing economic uncertainty. Some students travelled to a third country to circumvent travel ban. However, it seems not the solution to getting back to the right track of life.


This angle of this news feature story the economic and psychological burden brought by the COVID-19 to international students. Home affair figures show that there are 565,000 international students in Australia in 2020. This group of people cannot get support from the federal government, and Prime Minister Morrison announced that temporary visa holders such as international students who have no financial resources to survive the epidemic should “return to their own country”. This news feature is going to meet the news value of impact, conflict, timeliness, proximity and human interest.

This news feature story is expected to break into several parts by using subheadings. Each piece will focus on:

  • Living difficulties caused by Loss of job and high rent
  • Questioning government: Because they didn’t feel the government is supportive
  • Loneliness and Discrimination
  • Looking for help: Get information from the school of how they can help students
The chaos of Covid-19 pandemic has shattered students’ dreams. Image: Jason Tong / Creative Commons License – Some Rights Reserved

In the global pandemic of COVID-19, no matter individuals, communities or countries are affected. This news feature story tries to focus on one specific group, which are international students. This news feature story is expected to be published on Buzzfeed since it is a massive cross-platform network. Buzzfeed is good at engaging audience and foster real-world impact. The majority of Buzzfeed’s audiences are millennials, which is the majority of international students. Also, the University of Sydney News is ideal for this news feature. Because we have information sources from the university. Besides, international is a huge group here.

Information Sources

I will be looking to find sources and considering interviewing:

Multimedia, Hypertext and Interactivity

The news feature story is expected to be a mix of multimedia, hypertext and interactive material to engage the audience. I was going to include the interview on camera with international students who suffer from difficulties, but considering this weird time, it’s hard to accomplish. Therefore, I plan to use images of international students offered by themselves, and infographics on the number of international students in Australia. The photos could be summarized as a slideshow. Because Buzzfeed and USYD News rarely take video to support news, so an embedded video is not my first choice for my multimedia. If I need to have one, I’m thinking to give the speech that PM tells struggling students ‘it’s time to make your way home.’ Hyperlinks will lead to the sources I need to use. In addition, I want to create a poll to interact audience to tell their feeling.

1 Comment

  1. Hi Chloe,

    This is definitely a newsworthy topic, as it has the values of timeliness, relevance, proximity and even an element of conflict. I think your title is SEO friendly and there’s good use of hyperlinks. I also really like the structure and organisation of your story plan. The subheadings exploring the different facets of the international student experience during this crisis is well defined and clear.

    In terms of your ideas for multimedia, I know getting a video interview is difficult given our circumstances now, but I think including videos of your subjects talking, maybe through Zoom or Skype, would really enhance the story, as it would show the students as real individuals rather than a statistic, and help the audience empathise with what they’re going through.

    The list of sources given is well thought out and thorough. I think it could also be an interesting idea to add an opposing perspective, for example, someone who supports the PM’s views, to make the story even more interesting.

    Looking forward to reading your feature!


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