Bondi Beach to turn into English classroom for 3,000 foreign students

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12 February event to highlight Australia’s booming international education sector

Australia’s third biggest export earner – education — will hold an unprecedented English lesson for 3,000 foreign students on Bondi Beach to promote Australia as a leading education destination.  The event is being held as the industry prepares for a massive expansion, with experts calculating the sector will grow from $18.2 billion in 2014-15 to $30 billion by 2020, when each student will be spending on average $51,400 in fees and living costs.

The event is being held in conjunction with English Australia, the National Peak Body for the English language sector of international education in Australia.

“There is a real need to increase awareness both here and abroad that studying in Australia is not only world class, but has countless benefits to our economy,” explains event founder Priscila Duarte.  “I speak to so many people who are completely unaware of just how beneficial international education is to our economy; it’s bigger than tourism ($14.8 billion), and is Australia’s third largest export earner after iron ore ($54.5 billion) and coal ($37.9 billion),” she adds.

“Bondi Beach is quintessentially Australian; these pictures will be shared around the world and be used as a calling card for what life could be like if you chose to study in Australia.  Learning to speak English in Australia is a great introductory step for these international students, as it flows through to the higher education and vocational education and training sectors.  The latest ABS figures show intensive English language course enrolments have increased by 11% from the previous year, so the future is looking very bright!,” she says.

The already sold-out event is being supported by the NSW Government through Study NSW, as well as NSW’s leading English language schools.  The 3,000 registered students herald from over 100 different countries.

As at year-to-date October 2015, there were 615,061 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa. This represented a 9.7% per cent increase over October 2014 figures. Hosting so many students creates a flow-on effect for our economy. “Many international students come to Australia to study like I did,” says Priscila. “And just like me, they inevitably fall in love with the Australian way of life. Once learning to speak English, and following it up with another course, many choose to use their newly acquired skills to find a job and set up home in Australia.  This ultimately gives back to our economy in so many ways,” she adds.

“We are proud partners of this exciting and timely event, raising Australia’s profile as the top study destination in the world for international students,” says Brett Blacker, CEO of English Australia.  “This unique event showcases the diversity of international students studying English in NSW and provides a wonderful opportunity to support the students’ experience within the community,” he adds.

The Biggest English Lesson will take place on Friday, 12 February, between 4pm and 8pm at Bondi Beach (south end, near the skate park).  Further info: http://biggestenglish.com/

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