Here's why 400 international students hope to settle in the Murraylands

By moving here, they will create more jobs than they take, Study Adelaide says.

Members of a tour group of international students pose for a group photo at Pine Park, Murray Bridge. Photo: Jacob Jennings/RDA Murraylands and Riverland.

Hundreds of international students want to settle in the Murraylands after falling in love with South Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fifty students visited Murray Bridge, Mannum and Tailem Bend last week, meeting local employers in the hospitality and health care industries.

One group visited the Bridgeport Hotel, The Bend Motorsport Park, the Pit Lane Rydges Hotel, the Riverside Hotel and Sealink, which owns the riverboat Murray Princess.

The other went to see Centacare, AC Care and the Aminya Village Hostel.

Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland’s Vanessa Leigh said hundreds of local jobs needed filling in retail, manufacturing and agriculture, too.

“Clearly the Murraylands and Riverland has great job opportunities,” she said.

“What we (showcased) to the international students is that these jobs are located in great places to live.”

Study Adelaide chief executive Karyn Kent said about half of the international students studying in SA wanted to live and work here after they graduated from university.

More than half of those students said they would be happy to move to a regional centre.

Far from reducing the number of jobs available to locals, though, she suggested they would create jobs – after all, they would shop at local supermarkets, fill their cars at local service stations and have their homes built by local builders.

“On the one hand we have thousands of students keen to find employment and willing to look outside of greater Adelaide, and on the other hand we have major regional employers dealing with skills shortages and gaps in their workforce,” she said.

“It’s a win-win all round.

“International students both gain employment, often in sectors that would otherwise have skills shortages; and create employment, with every three international students in South Australia creating one local job.”

Another 350 students are on a waiting list to visit the Murraylands.

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