Monday, 25 May 2020 Sydney

Australian business ‘simply the best’ for a workable future::

Nepalese international student Abhie Ghimire has not looked back since he decided to pursue his university education in Australia three years ago.

It’s a long way from his family in the Himalayan region of Nepal but Mr Ghimire, 25, said Australia was “one of the best places in the world to study” because of its prosperous employment opportunities.

After he began a masters degree in convergent media at Western Sydney University, Mr Ghimire said it took less than 12 months before he realised the Australian business and IT sector would give him the best chance of full-time employment after his studies, and so he transferred to a business degree at Victoria University in Sydney.

Mr Ghimire was one of 23,614 Nepalese students who made the journey to Australia in 2017 on an international student visa and joined 170,547 students from China and 64,364 from India who chose to study in Australia the same year. Overseas students now make up 44 per cent of Australia’s net migration — the difference between annual arrivals and departures.

“Around 80 per cent of the people in my degree are international students,” Mr Ghimire said. “My parents are covering my tuition, which is about $11,600 a semester, but it’s expected that I’ll pay them back as soon as I gain full-time employment here.”

With his student visa expiring when he graduates next year, Mr Ghimire has already begun the process of applying for a temporary graduate visa and hopes to eventually become a permanent resident in Australia.

The Nepalese flag hangs high on the wall of Mr Ghimire’s cramped Ashfield bedroom in Sydney’s inner west but he tells The Australian he doesn’t mind living in one of the country’s most expensive cities.

Over the past two decades, temporary immigrants in the categories of international students, working-holiday makers and temporary skilled migrants have increasingly outnumbered permanent residency immigrants with almost 800,000 international migrants coming to Australia in June 2018. Many roll over their visas, eventually gaining post-graduate work visas that can be a pathway to residency.

Waking up at 5am, Mr Ghimire works 20 hours a week in a casual cleaning job — the maximum hours international students can work legally.

“It’s a lot of pressure on me to make ends meet but there’s definitely better job prospects in Australia than in countries where a lot of international students are coming from,” he said.