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New Projects to Help Enhance the Wellbeing of International Students in Victoria

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International students in Victoria will receive enhanced support through a new initiative aimed at helping them succeed while living away from home. Tim Pallas, the Minister for Economic Growth, announced this recently, underscoring the significance of such support.

“Studying away from home can be stressful and overwhelming – this program provides international students with vital resources for mental health, community engagement and overall wellbeing,” Minister Pallas said.

This initiative involves the allocation of funds to 13 projects under the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program, designed to improve the wellbeing of international students in the region. It focuses on aiding international students in forming stronger connections within the Victorian community, emphasizing mental health, physical health, employability, safety, resilience, community involvement, and cultural understanding.

One notable project involves the National Gallery of Victoria, in collaboration with the Koorie Heritage Trust, which aims to introduce international students to the art, culture, and histories of Australia’s First Peoples. Tony Ellwood AM, the NGV Director, elaborated on the project’s goals, stating, “The program will build international students’ connection to local culture and community through a series of social learning experiences related to First Peoples art, culture, and history.”

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Additionally, the University of Melbourne and Orygen Youth Health are expanding their suicide prevention program specifically for international students, including suicide alertness workshops and the provision of mental health peer support. In Geelong, international students will have the chance to participate in the Salvation Army’s Swimming and Water Safety Project, featuring a beach safety day at a local surf lifesaving club.

Highlighting the importance of international students to Victoria, Minister Pallas remarked, “International students make up a vibrant and significant part of our diverse Victorian community, and we are making sure they are well-supported to thrive in their studies while enjoying everything our state has to offer.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program has supported over 235,000 students through 147 projects, aiming to enhance the ability of student associations and other organizations to assist international students.

In 2023, over 234,000 international students from 170 countries studied in Victoria, affirming Melbourne’s status as the most culturally diverse student city in Australia and the fourth globally, according to the 2024 QS Best Student City report.

Further information about the Study Melbourne Inclusion Program can be found on its website.

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