International students going to suffer from unprecedented rental crisis

Having a cozy room is more and more difficult for international students.Photo by Maria Ziegler on unsplash

With the world’s recovery from the pandemic, everything is going back to its normal status. Accordingly, those international students who have been staying at home to receive remote education must get back to their campus, which means that it is time to see the crowded universities. There are innumerable side effects of remote education, including online cheating, fake degrees, poor education quality, and so on. In the last year, the education ministry of certain countries where university education is dominating as a featured industry announced that they would encourage international students to get back to campus by asking universities to stop their online courses.

However, due to shrinking employment, there are more and more graduates choosing to ‘upgrade’ their academic degree so that they are likely to gain a decent job, which makes the number of international students recover to a level before COVID-19. It is notable that China released a sensational announcement at the beginning of 2023, which said that all international students who have Chinese nationality must go back to the country where their universities are located; otherwise, their academic degrees will not be acknowledged by the Minister of Education of the P.R.C. In other words, international students from China have to try their best to go abroad. With this background, a tremendous number of Chinese students have been trying to get back to campus.

On top of that, most international students are from China, which really matters in the rental market. Sydney, a city where several universities are located, is currently under a lot of pressure to accommodate innumerable students. As far as I know, almost all Chinese students have struggled or are struggling to rent a room.

Rental crisis

‘I did try my best to rent a proper house,’ said Qichen, “but the price of rental is so ridiculous that I thought it was an impossible mission to be a tenant with a limited budget.’

‘Where there is an available rental room, there will be a bunch of international students.’ Said Qichen, an USYD-enrolled student who made 3 inspection each day after he was in Sydney.

Crowded inspection.Photo:Qichen(supplied)

There are many reasons leading to this situation. First of all, Sydney’s accommodation system is trying to contain more people than it can handle. Furthermore, almost every student asked Chinese householders for rooms. What makes that so is that the local householders are not likely to lease their houses to international students who do not have stable incomes, even though most of them are sponsored by their families; instead, they are willing to lease their rooms to working people. In fact, there are few appropriate sources for internationals to select from.

‘I have been crazy about finding my accommodation after the announcement from the Minister of Education, though I was in Japan at that time.’ Said Haoyuan. Haoyuan Liu, an enrolled student at USYD, is from Beijing.

Unfortunately, he can’t be in Sydney to attend in-person classes in Semester 1 owing to a failure in rental. ‘It is a shame for me, and now I can’t make sure whether the Minister of Education will acknowledge my degree after graduation.’ Said Haoyuan.

  • Ridiculous rental price on an estate app. Shot by Yangkai

This irrational situation hits every international student; they have to tolerate the unacceptable price of rent or they will spend much time on their annoying daily commute. ‘To alleviate my financial burden, I have to do two part-time jobs and a casual job, which makes me feel tired during my class time.’ Said Qichen. ‘I had no choice; when I arrived in Sydney yet, I found a temporary room via Airbnb; inspection occupied most of my time out of class time; finally, I had to choose an expensive apartment.’

Follow-up difficulties

Those who do not care about rental prices are just a tiny part of international students; most of them are trying ways to save on ridiculous rental prices. However, the price trend is still escalating.

‘Actually, I signed a lease contract in December 2022, but recently I was notified by the house holder that the rental price of my room will be increased by 50 dollars. Now I have to seriously think about whether I can afford this increased price.’ Said Shujing, a student chasing a master’s degree in USYD

Obviously, Australia’s education system has been thoroughly recovered from the pandemic, and there will be more international students coming to this country. ‘I just got permission to live in my relative’s house that is located in Chippendale; it is not bad for me to arrive in Sydney before Semester 2.’ Said Haoyuan.

‘It is time to find a new place.’ Said Qichen.With the end of Semester 1, many rentals are going to be ended, so most international students are confronting such an issue. They have to pick a new room for themselves. By going through that terrible period of finding a room, most of them are actively doing inspections in advance, although the end of the semester is the most busy period in Semester 1. ‘I have to do that to make sure that there are sufficient available rental rooms for me to select; it is too late to rent a house after newcomers arrive in Sydney in July, and I would not put myself in that difficult situation,” said Qichen.’ 

A predictable situation is that in June, there would be many students taking their suitcases across the streets, and inspection would keep busy. To resolve this tricky one, international students suffered too much. Sometimes, for most of them, the challenges they face in the rental market are even more difficult than the questions they face on campus.

The students are not overreacting to this issue; their studies must be based on a permanent accommodation; if not, they have to spend most of their leisure time doing such a meaningless thing. The students should grab the opportunity to do whatever they want instead of being occupied by finding rooms.Everybody does not know when the end of this trend will come., it seems to be an ever-lasting crisis as more and more people come to Sydney.

Do you think the price of renting a room is reasonable?






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