According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data, more than 260,000 Chinese international students studying in Australian universities before 2019, the outbreak of Covid-19, and brought over 13 billion dollar incomes. The number had a significant decrease during the epidemic period due to travel restrictions. However, after the Chinese government’s announcement of a ban on online classes, there were estimated 40,000 Chinese students returning to Australia.
Due to the recently rent hikes in Sydney, it is becoming more and more challenging for Chinese international students to find a room at an acceptable price. According to Domain Rent Report in 2023, the average rental cost in Sydney has increased 24%, and reached $620/week compared to 2022.
It has been reported that people are renting out balcony for $300/week in Sydney CBD area. Therefore for international students, if their budgets were not high enough, it could be notably challenging for them to find room that is not too far from the schools. In addition, even if international students are willing to pay a higher price, their disposable budget will be affected, which may lead to a significant reduction in their quality of life.
Topic, genre and angle
The feature story will focus on the challenges that international students face in aspects of renting accommodations in Sydney due to the recent rent hikes in Sydney. In addition to high rental prices, budget, area of residence, affordability, commuting time and quality of life will be decisive factors as well. I will explore and present the most popular suburbs for international students, and the rental costs in those areas. I will conduct interviews with international students who are facing the challenge, in aspects of their experiences and feelings. I will also interview rental agents including mine, to further understand the rental market and their opinions on this crisis.
Targeted audiences and publication
This feature story will be published on Sydney Morning Herald and Junkee because these two publishers had plenty of reports about rent hikes and international students. Sydney Morning Herald is one of the major newspaper agencies in Australia with high popularity, by publishing on Sydney Morning Herald, this feature story will attract more attention from audiences. Junkee is a news website, its targeted demographic is 18-29 years old audiences, young people might face the challenge themselves even if they were not international students, because their budget might not be hight enough as well. The targeted audiences for this feature story are the international students, tenants, house owners and agents. These groups are both involved in the rent hikes directly, and they will be interested in the story.
Sources of information
- Domain (data)
- Sydney Morning Herald (news report)
- au.com (news report)
- Abc.net.au (news report)
- International students, those who experienced rent hikes or faced the challenges such as insufficient budget, decline in living standard because of the rise of rental cost or forced to live in a suburb far from school.
- Agents, the prices they offer, situations under the rent hikes
Multimedia, hypertext and interactivity
- I will insert images that demonstrate the challenge currently for international students (students carrying luggage, their helplessness and etc.) and video/audio of the interview (if the interviewee authorized).
- Hyperlinks will be used in this story to further provide relevant information such as data of rental cost and average cost in different areas, so that audiences will receive more detailed information.
- I will enable the comment fundtion under the story, so that audiences will have a chance to express their thoughts on this story or the crisis.