New Zealand Citizens studying in Australia deserve more
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I have been living in Australia for seven years now... I still have my NZ citizenship and have never really intended on getting my Australian. Mainly because I don't want too, but also because it is a long process and not overly beneficial to me as a 19 year old...
The only way it would have helped me would be with my university fees, due to the fact that I can't receive a HECS fund. Before entering university, it was agreed upon by both my parents and myself that we would go thirds for the three years of me studying. As I study full time and only work in a supermarket as a casual employee, it certainly is a struggle to meet my end of the bargain, but I still do. It may take a few loans from my mum to tie me over but I always pay her back!
I have now completed a year and half of my studies and paid all the fees for the three semesters that I have done by the due date (as it is compulsory). This year, I decided that I would undertake one of my subjects in the winter break period.
This was an intense 2 week course, which consisted of 2 assignments, daily quizzes and an exam at the end of the 2 weeks. I completed the 2 weeks with good marks and then I had a week off (SWOT-VAC) to study for the exam the following Monday (16th July).
My fees for the subject were due on the Friday before the exam (13th July). As my parents were aware of this, they had scheduled for the payment to be come out on that Friday...However it turns out the bank didn't transfer the money to the university until 5am on Saturday the 14th of July. At the time, I wasn't aware of this and still undertook the exam on the Monday. (A side note: I had just had surgery during SWOT-VAC week and was still severely recovering from my surgery, but I still completed the exam).
Than, three days ago...almost two weeks since the fees had been sent to them and 11 days since the exam. I received an email from the university to say that my enrolment from the winter school period had been cancelled as they didn't get my fees on the correct date. I replied hoping they would be able to do something, as a lot of hard work and stress went into my studies and the course (even though it was only two weeks). I stated that my mum rang on the day that they were due to make sure that the university knew they were getting the money. But however, there was still nothing they could do as they were not received my midnight on Friday 13th of July. I therefore lose my marks and the credit for the subject. Which I will now have to do again, as it is a requirement for my degree. It is not ideal but I don't have a choice.
Both my parents and myself were not happy with this. We were angry with ourselves for not doing it sooner (which is why this is partly our fault). But it still makes me mad that this is the way New Zealand, TAX PAYING citizens are being treated in Australia. I am almost certain that a lot of the universities students are Australian citizens and therefore aren't obliged to pay their fees until they start working. Obviously that is not my case.
I have decided to write a letter to both the Australian and New Zealand Governments to possibly put some kind of support in for New Zealand citizens studying in Australia, because honestly it is not fair! My parents have good jobs, but I am not an only child and therefore there are other educations being paid for, as well as our living expenses (because let's face it, living is not cheap these days)!
My main message that I want to get across is that money is nowhere near as important as education! We are the future of our countries, yet a lot of people won't get to live that because they aren't receiving the right or even any education because of money. It may be too late to help me, but I am still going to try...
I am hoping that you agree with me and will sign this petition that I can use to support my argument!
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