Overseas medical students 'saddled with debt but no job'

An overseas medical student who is studying in Australia has criticised rules that prevent international students from gaining training placements.

Under the rules, which came into effect in 2009, overseas medical students are not guaranteed a hospital internship place and are only granted such places once all Australians and New Zealanders trained in Australia and overseas-trained applicants are employed.

Haley Cochrane, 26, a second-year medical student from Canada who studies at the University of Sydney, suggested the move had dampened job prospects among international students and made it harder for them to compare student finances and plan for the future.

"You are not really qualified to do anything without it [an internship]," she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"You are saddled with $300,000 worth of debt and no job.''

She was commenting after an Australian Medical Association survey of overseas students in New South Wales found that 72 per cent were not told when they came to Australia that they were not guaranteed a hospital internship.

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