Understanding residential and travel preferences of South Asian international students

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Australia’s population is on the rise, and immigrants, including international students, are playing a big role in this growth. Because of the resulting strain on the transport system in the country, it is important to have some insight into how immigrants travel. Research in Australia has found demographic and travel habit differences between native-born Australians and immigrants but the reasons for these differences are not clear. To learn more, focus groups were undertaken amongst domestic and international (South Asian) students attending Monash University, a large suburban university campus in Victoria. New insights into public transport and car use were noted, with carpooling and carsharing amongst South Asians being an important mode. For South Asians, living with friends or family in an area reminding them of home was convenient; however, this often resulted in longer travel times and poorer connectivity which is a price most South Asians were willing to pay. For the Australians, trying to live near their daily destination or in an area with good public transport was preferred. Despite the two groups having different mobility preferences, much of the discussions revolved around the limitations of public transport in the suburban location of the university, hinting at a car-dependent future. International students can be the agents of change the Australian transport system needs to move away from cars. Their concerns should be evaluated and researched further by policymakers and transport planners urgently.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2019 - Hyatt Hotel, Canberra, Australia
Duration: 30 Sept 20192 Oct 2019
Conference number: 41st
https://www.australasiantransportresearchforum.org.au/papers/2019 (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Transport Research Forum 2019
Abbreviated titleATRF 2019
Internet address

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