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By Michelle See-Tho

International students can soon get a taste of the benefits of half-price public transport. The Victorian government has now granted international students access to concessions for public transport.

International students are eligible to purchase annual myki passes with the 50 per cent discount afforded to local students. However, they are not eligible to access the concession fare for other myki fare types—such as daily and weekly passes, and myki money. The annual myki pass, with a concession fare, can cost around $1000.

The three-year concession fare trial will begin in 2015.

In a university press release, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Sue Elliott said, “This concession scheme is a further step towards showing international students that they are welcome in Melbourne and are supported across the broader community.”

University of Melbourne Student Union Welfare Officer Kinsey Li said she was happy to see increased consideration for international students. “International students’ fees are already more than three times that of local students—it’s not like they’re in a well-off position. The transport concessions definitely make it easier for them, by reducing their living expenses, she said.

In the past, international students have been denied concessions for public transport. Li has been a strong advocate of the cause. Movements such as the Fair’s Fare petition have pushed for the change in recent years, with involvement from Li and other students, both local and international.