14 January 2022

Welcome back! Canberra businesses look forward to better days with the return of international students

| Karyn Starmer
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One business ready to welcome the students with open doors is 85C Bakery on Childers Street near the ANU. A bakery selling coffee and bubble tea, manager Yuxin Du said they opened their doors just as the ACT went into lockdown in August.

“Opening a new café during a pandemic was obviously not what we planned, and having no international students had a really big effect on our business,” Mr Du said.

“Now we are ready to say a big welcome to all the students and are expecting a rise in sales as the students return.”

UC Supermarket owner Bob Lu said government support helped his business survive and he managed to keep his staff employed through quiet times.

“I am from an Asian culture and I usually stock specialist Asian grocery items for the students, but those products were hard to sell when the international students were not here and the dates expired,” Mr Lu said.

“We are really looking forward to having the students back in the store again.”

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A spokesperson for the ANU said the return of the first group to Canberra this week is a very exciting milestone.

“We’ve missed our international students and they’ve missed us. International students bring many talents and ideas to our classrooms and make a substantial contribution to our campus, our community and Canberra. It’s really promising to see strong application numbers for 2022, coming from students from 131 countries,” the spokesperson said.

ANU is working closely with our students located overseas to support their return to in-person study in Canberra this year. Some students have made independent travel arrangements, and others have opted for the University to manage their return travel. Their choice is dependent on their location and individual circumstances.

“We are all looking forward to a much better 2022, with our staff and student community safely back together and making the most of the vibrant campus experience.”

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Tom Worthington5:03 pm 14 Jan 22

I am looking forward to returning to campus and meeting my students face to face. I know a little of what it is like to be an international online student, as I studied that way for three years myself. This was pre-pandemic and so not as difficult, but even so e-learning can be a lonely, stressful experience. My studies were in how to teach university students online, in case an emergency kept them from campus. That came in handy, three years later, when it happened. It is also helping with the current transition from fully online, to the classroom, using hybrid delivery. https://blog.highereducationwhisperer.com/2020/04/responding-to-coronavirus-emergency.html

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