International students in Australia will be encouraged to learn water safety this summer in an attempt to prevent drownings, with a New South Wales (NSW) State government educational campaign launched on Monday.
A grant from the government of 31,000 U.S. dollars will help police and surf lifesaving authorities create a multilingual video for non-English speaking students, in the hope of helping them remain safe however they choose to beat the heat Down Under.
"As Australia's most popular study destination, NSW has a responsibility to our 265,000 international students -- to not just ensure they have a rewarding experience during their studies here, but also that they are kept safe," state Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade John Barilaro said.
"Many of the students arriving from overseas and particularly landlocked countries have limited experience of swimming and lack understanding of the water safety notions that we take for granted here in Australia -- this puts them at the greatest risk of drowning."
Member for the coastal city of Coffs Harbour, Gurmesh Singh explained that the video will encourage overseas students to enrol in swimming lessons and think about their safety when engaging in water based activities -- whether it be hitting the beach, rock fishing, swimming in pools, rivers or elsewhere.
"Sadly in recent years we have had a significant number of drownings off our local beaches, and in almost all cases it was because they have entered the water without fully appreciating or understanding the dangers and their own ability to deal with them," Singh said.
The project is part of a 474,000 U.S. dollar government and private grant scheme to help international students enhance their study experience in Australia, from arrival to graduation.
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