New Crime Stoppers Victoria podcast throws spotlight on international students’ feelings towards safety

By Our Reporter
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Crime Stoppers Victoria have released a two-episode podcast series focusing on international students and their feelings towards safety and crime here in Melbourne. Titled ‘A Home Away From Home’, the podcast explores several aspects to the international student experience, ranging from choosing Australia as a study destination, safety, reporting crime and racism following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Crime Stoppers Victoria Chief Executive Stella Smith says that international students are vital members of the Victorian community who may experience different circumstances living here that are important to learn. “Melbourne and the state of Victoria are home to a significant international student population who come from all parts of the world. It’s sometimes easy to forget that these students are living in a completely different environment when they move here and as a result may have challenges and concerns with regards to safety and knowing how to seek help and report issues” she said.

The first episode features City of Melbourne Councillor Philip Le Liu who chairs the International Engagement portfolio for the council. Cr Le Liu highlights the challenges international students face settling in their new city, which can be quite a different environment from their respective home countries.

“You have to understand these young people made a conscious decision, they could study anywhere in the world but they chose here to study…it means they have decided to spend 3 to 5 years of their youth or their prime in breaking somewhere else that is far removed from their family and friends” he said.

Melbourne is currently ranked as the third best student city behind London and Tokyo according to topuniversities.com. Cr Le Liu aspires to lead the city to the top position by engaging with an international student population of “40,000 to 60,000 living in the City of Melbourne.

Cr Le Liu also highlights challenges international students face in the community including being victims of crime and targets of racist attacks. Referencing the violent racist attack in April this year on two female Asian students in the Melbourne CBD “it was so disgusting that that would happen in our great city”.

“For the students…it’s a bit of a struggle to go through regulations, some even fear of reaching out to the police and others because they don’t want people to know they’ve been attacked or anything like that, it may be a culture thing. That’s where you see a bit of isolation and also a bit of non-reporting.”

In the second episode, Crime Stoppers Victoria speak to five international students to get their personal perspectives on moving to Melbourne to study and their feelings of safety. The five students who are from India, Indonesia, Colombia, Vietnam and China provide their takes on a variety of subjects including adapting to a new city, their relationships with local students, perceived escalation of racism from the Covid-19 outbreak and their feelings toward reporting crime.

The podcast is available at the following link on the Crime Stoppers Victoria website.

It is also available on all podcast playing services, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.


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