International students are flocking to South Australia from all over the world, according to new data.
Figures from the Federal Department of Education show there are 38,367 international students in SA.
SA Trade Minister David Ridgway said student enrolments for the first seven months of this year were up 13 per cent, compared with the same period last year.
That was well above the national growth rate of 9 per cent.
The surge is being driven, in part, by more students from a wider range of countries – including the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Taiwan – choosing to study in Adelaide.
“This trend is fantastic to see and provides further opportunities for cultural exchange, integration and diversification to take place within South Australia,” Mr Ridgway said.
About 18,000 international students have commenced studies in SA so far this year, up 16 per cent compared with the same time last year.
Colombian Karen Figueroa, 28, who is undertaking a masters in financial planning at UniSA, said she and her husband would love to call Adelaide home for good once she completed university.
“I have fallen in love with Australia, the lifestyle and the people,” she said.
“I love the multicultural environment.
“Colombia is beautiful, and my family is still there, but the political and social situation is not the best.”
Brazilian Aguinaldo Nunes, 30, who is studying general English at Kaplan International Languages, was convinced by a friend to study in Adelaide.
“I have a friend here and he told me how nice the city is and the people are,” he said.
“The weather is quite similar to Brazil.”
A breakdown of enrolments shows a 29 per cent growth in the vocational education and training sector (VET) and 15 per cent growth in the higher education sector.
The State Government has aspirations to grow international enrolments by 2.5 per cent each year.
That would increase the number of overseas students in SA to 71,000 by 2030. Mr Ridgway said the sustained growth was fantastic news for the state.
“An independent report, released by commercial real estate firm JLL, highlights the whole-of-economy impact the international education sector has, including significant stimulus to the construction industry with $525 million in accommodation projects currently in development,” Mr Ridgway said.
There was also strong growth in international students from traditional markets, including India (up 56 per cent), Vietnam (18 per cent rise) and Nepal (29 per cent).