Chinese students studying in Australia: We have been in Australia for half a year

  According to a report released by relevant educational institutions in May this year, China has been the largest source country of Australian international students for five consecutive years. The group of Chinese students studying abroad has made great contributions to China-Australia education and cultural exchanges, and to Australia's economic development. Previously, the biggest difficulties faced by Chinese students in Australia were mainly "different diet or living habits", "not strong ability to live independently", "homesick or lonely", "lack of social interaction or difficulty in integrating into the local social circle". But now, with the global outbreak of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, as well as the resulting international changes and ups and downs in national relations, Chinese students studying in Australia have encountered greater and more difficulties.

  On June 9, the Ministry of Education issued an early warning for studying abroad, reminding the majority of overseas students to make a risk assessment and carefully choose to go to Australia or return to Australia to study. On July 9, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again reminded the majority of students studying in Australia, “You must do a good job of risk assessment, and you are cautiously choosing to go to Australia or return to Australia to study; remind overseas Chinese in Australia to pay attention to your own safety precautions” and once again urge Australia to “take practical measures Measures to safeguard and protect the safety and rights of Chinese citizens in Australia". This is because in the past period of time, discrimination against overseas Chinese, Chinese students and even Asians has emerged in Australia. Some of them have suffered violent attacks, and their physical and mental health and even their lives have been seriously threatened. For example, on July 4, a Chinese student from the University of South Australia was insulted and attacked by three local men near Chinatown in Adelaide and was seriously injured.

  Two Chinese students in Australia, Liu and Tan, recently shared their feelings over the past six months.

  At the beginning of the outbreak, because the Australian government issued a ban on entry for people holding mainland Chinese passports, it was the biggest difficulty for Chinese students studying in Australia who were spending the Spring Festival in China at that time to continue their studies in Australia. Liu, a junior at the Australian National (ANU) University, told the author that after the outbreak, she realized earlier that returning to Australia might become a “problem” and returned on January 28 before Australia banned Chinese entry. To Australia. Compared with Liu, Tan, who was a junior at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, had a less smooth journey back to Australia. On February 1, Australia suddenly announced that people holding mainland Chinese passports would be prohibited from entering the country. The school also informed that if they cannot enter the country, they need to apply for a postponement of graduation. In order not to delay their studies, like many international students, Tan adopted a "curve back to Australia" method: He left Beijing at the end of February and was quarantined in Bangkok, Thailand for two weeks. He was not able to enter Australia until mid-March.

  According to Liu and Tan, as far as they know, there are still many international students who have not returned to Australia and have to choose to postpone or suspend their studies.

  After returning to Australia, how to continue studying has become a new question. Take the University of Queensland where Tan studied as an example. The courses in the first half of the academic year (the first semester of 2020) were taught face-to-face at the beginning. However, as the epidemic in Australia worsened, the face-to-face courses only lasted 3 weeks, and the school notified a temporary holiday. In order to adjust the teaching method; then "resuming classes", and then all of them will be taught online. The mid-term final exam was also changed to an online exam. Although students have no freedom of choice under the epidemic situation, student Tan personally thinks: “Online teaching is not entirely a bad thing. The experience of online teaching will be a little bit worse, and you can’t meet the teacher face to face. But the content of online lessons can be read repeatedly, Listen, there are more materials for review than before, and the learning effect is not bad."

  At this stage, with the improvement of the Australian epidemic situation, the University of Queensland is considering reopening offline teaching. According to student Tan, in the upcoming second half of the academic year (the second semester of 2020), the school has given three teaching methods: internal mode, flexible mode and external mode. ). Among them, the flexible mode will be combined with online and offline modes, namely: normal teaching activities will be carried out while complying with the “social distancing” regulations. Student Liu also told reporters that the Australian National University she attended was also considering restarting face to face teaching.

  Under the epidemic, just like Chinese students studying in other countries in the world, Chinese students in Australia have also shared the care they feel from the motherland in the circle of friends. For example, Mr. Liu introduced that because there are more Chinese students studying in Australia, through meticulous work, the Chinese embassy and consulate in Australia contacted the International Students' Association, and international students applied for and obtained epidemic prevention "health packs" through online registration. This not only makes them feel the warmth of the motherland, but also helps them fight the epidemic.

  Recently, some areas of Australia, such as the state of Victoria, the epidemic has rebounded. What is very different from the initial stage of the epidemic is that local governments recommend that people wear masks when traveling. However, according to Liu's observation, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean students generally pay great attention to protective measures such as wearing masks, but students from India, Pakistan and other places do not seem to pay much attention. For local Australians, perhaps because of the high mortality rate among middle-aged and elderly infected persons, many of them choose to wear masks actively, but most young people seem to disagree and still do not wear masks when traveling.

  For the safety reminders issued by Chinese government agencies for international students and travelers in Australia, both Liu and Tan felt it was necessary. They said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, there has been relatively little going out, and they feel that most local people are relatively friendly to Chinese and Asians, but there are also often heard of local discriminatory incidents against Asians. And classmate Tan himself encountered: “When I just returned to Australia in mid-March, I once went out wearing a mask, and when I passed by a local young man, I was scolded by them.”

  Speaking of future plans, both Liu and Tan said that they definitely hope that the epidemic will end as soon as possible, everything will return to normal, and the original school plans will not be affected too much. But in addition to what has already happened, Liu’s future study plan has been greatly affected. She told reporters: “I originally planned to go to the United States to continue my studies after graduating from ANU, but due to the epidemic, Trump administration policies, etc. The reason, I think now, for me, the United States is not a good choice for studying abroad."

  Our newspaper, Beijing, July 29th

  Intern Wang Kaiqi Source: China Youth Daily