While Patricia O’Callaghan, CEO of Destination Gold Coast, described the coastal city as “Australia’s favourite playground”, Alfred Slogrove, CEO of Study Gold Coast labelled it “Australia’s favourite classroom” for international students.
The delegation not only highlighted the “beautiful lifestyle” and “desirable living conditions” the Gold Coast has to offer, such as Southern Cross University’s campus located 400 metres from the beach, but also delved into some specifics regarding post-study work rights for international students.
“A very significant benefit that the city of Gold Coast has over most other cities in Australia is in regard to post-study work rights,” said Rob Borbidge, chairman of Study Gold Coast.
“We are the number one regional study destination and that means that international graduates enjoy up to four years of post-study work rights – something that our capital cities can’t offer.”
“Don’t underestimate what that means for students in particular who want to experience the Gold Coast not from an educational perspective but also learning how the culture is in terms of a work outcome,” said Slogrove.
He expanded on the “unique advantages” which the city has thanks to its regional status, including priority visa processing, an asset they have been able to negotiate with the Australian government due to said status.
There are also considerable options for students looking to find work alongside their studies. Study Gold Coast’s student jobs platform has been successfully matching employers with students since 2020.
According to Slogrove, there are currently 1,300 employers on the platform, offering over 1,600 jobs in the sport, film, education, tourism and health sectors.
The delegation emphasised exceptional student support and care the city offered to international students throughout the pandemic.
With international student numbers now approaching pre-pandemic levels in the region, Borbidge believes that this “demonstrates that in terms of our community, we are very much a caring community that looks after our visitors, wether they may be students or tourists”.
The delegation’s trip coincided with the 2022 Commonwealth Games, held in Birmingham. The group will be attending the Games, which the city in Queensland hosted in 2018, before travelling to Barcelona to continue the mayoral mission.