Global alumni

Global alumni

Strengthening global connections

Around 100 international students have taken part in the City's international student leadership and ambassador program, including the 2017/18 ambassadors.

Following the successful pilot program in 2013/14, every 2 years the City recruits new ambassadors and provides an orientation and leadership skills training program. After completing the training, the students are provided with further support from the City to develop and host events that aim to increase international student engagement in Sydney.

The 2015/16 ambassadors were recognised for their contributions at a reception at Sydney Town Hall in August 2016 (see gallery below). Together, they volunteered for more than 35 events and contributed nearly 6,500 volunteer hours during the program.

Ambassadors from the 2013/14 program celebrated the success of the pilot program at a reception at Sydney Town Hall in June 2015.

2015/16 program evaluation highlights

  • All ambassadors developed new skills and knowledge as a result of participating in the program.
  • The program increased all of the ambassadors' ability to participate in community activities and community life.
  • A high majority of the students (93%) said the program activities were well-run.
  • Nearly all of the students (97%) said the program increased their capacity to engage and collaborate with other local and international students, and the wider community
  • The same number of students (97%) said being part of the program helped them to feel a sense of belonging to Sydney. 

 Read more below about each student's journey while studying in Sydney.

2015/16 International Student Leaders and Ambassadors

Sarala Saravanan

Sarala Saravanan

India
University of Western Sydney
Masters of Planning

Sydney is a very multicultural city and I have made friends from China, India, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, among others. I really enjoy the lifestyle and trying food from different cultures, which is always readily available in the city. I find it easy to adapt to life in Sydney as a mother and a student. As an international student I know it is sometimes challenging to find work and professional development opportunities. I encourage you to take on a volunteer job as it enhances your personal experience and expands your professional network.

Hiba Shimlawala

Hiba Shimlawala

Pakistan
Macquarie University
Bachelor of Commerce

In my first couple of months living in Sydney, fitting in seemed to be a problem for me so I decided to put myself out there and got involved in more campus activities. I even moved into campus accommodation, which helped me make more friends and gain confidence. Sydney is a multicultural city where you can enjoy not only Australian culture but others like Chinese, Thai, French and so on. Sydney has made me who I am today – a hardworking, self-confident individual who can hold her own in tough times.



Nguyen (Krystal) Ly

Nguyen (Krystal) Ly

Vietnam
Macquarie University
Masters of Accounting

It is never enough to learn the Aussie culture just by studying in Sydney as it is a global city. Be open to new things and new people who can help you adapt easier to life in Sydney. My experience in Sydney has been marvellous so far as I have experienced world-class education, made friends with people from diverse backgrounds and enjoy the beauty of a vibrant city. My experience was diversified when I was an interpreter for the Vietnam-Australia business dialogue. I could thoroughly perceive the desire to strengthen the relationships between the two countries.



Sophia Andres

Sophia Andres

Philippines
Australian Catholic University
Bachelor of Human Resource Management

The best way to be an international student is to experience this new adventure with a clean slate without relying on perceptions and expectations of what should, or shouldn’t be. Go surprise yourself! I am grateful for Sydney’s every picture perfect angle – even when it’s got a hint of weather unpredictability on the side. My mission is to help all those international students who chose to pursue the unknown.



Julius Delino

Julius Delino

Philippines
Australian Institute of Commerce and Language
Diploma of Community Services

If you are new to Australia remember you can always find someone to talk to who has already been in the same situation as you. Sydney became my second home away from home. It provides good services and experiences that I will never forget. Very good education institutions and a wide range of opportunities are available to everybody. My aim is to influence, inspire and help my fellow international students when it comes to studying and to show them around Sydney.

Nghi (Sandy) Lam

Nghi (Sandy) Lam

Vietnam
University of Technology, Sydney
Diploma in Business, Bachelor of Business

I have never felt so moved by the beautiful skies and the friendliness of people in Sydney since I first landed in this lovely city. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I have unknowingly found myself immersed in the more pretty aspects of Sydney such as the beauty of its local cultures and multicultural diversity. All of which, has always made me feel welcome. I have looked at different internship programs to enhance my future career and I understand good academic achievement is not enough. Showing leadership experience can go a long way to achieve your career goals.

My Tinh (Amy) Ly

My Tinh (Amy) Ly

Vietnam
University of Technology, Sydney
Bachelor of Nursing

Have courage to step up and engage with the communities within and outside campus. Do not be shy being a ‘newbie’, we all have been there and we are here to guide you through this exciting journey as an international student. One of my most exciting experiences in Sydney was attending the Council of International Students Australia Conference where I met many student leaders from universities across Australia.

Mi (Lainmar) Oo

Mi (Lainmar) Oo

Myanmar
University of Technology, Sydney
Bachelor of Business

I enjoy living in Sydney because it is not only the best place to study but the most suitable place to experience various distinctive cultures. There are leadership programs and volunteering opportunities for international students where I have participated and made many friends, had fun and learnt about the working culture of local communities in Australia. When you arrive, the culture in Sydney can be totally different and you find it hard to adapt. Don’t be shy to ask questions – in class, in restaurants or on the bus. People are friendly, easy-going and always willing to help.

Thi Ha Phuong (Rachel) Nguyen

Thi Ha Phuong (Rachel) Nguyen

Vietnam
University of Technology, Sydney
Bachelor of Business

I spent my first month in Sydney going to university and then home. I had no social interaction with people until one day I decided to try volunteering with the Red Cross. I was nervous but I took a deep breath, put a smile on and said ‘hi’ to everyone. It changed everything! I went to events, met new friends and built my confidence. If you step out of your comfort zone you will thank yourself for it every day for doing it. Have you ever felt love at first sight with someone who is breathtakingly beautiful, so friendly it makes you feel at home? That’s how I feel about my Sydney.

Thi Ngoc Hiep (Daisy) Dang

Thi Ngoc Hiep (Daisy) Dang

Vietnam
University of Technology, Sydney
Business

I love Sydney’s peaceful atmosphere, attractive landscapes and its friendly people. I spent my first 3 months living in home-stay where I got a taste of the original Aussie lifestyle. It was a great chance to try Aussie food, do gardening and visit beautiful places on the lower North Shore. Living in home-stay helped me easily adapt to the new environment. Living far from home means you need to take charge of many aspects in your life without family support. Don’t get disheartened – if it doesn’t go to plan the first time, keep trying until you succeed.

Joel Coelho

Joel Coelho

India
University of Wollongong
Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering

Sydney never fails to amaze me! I like the way it keeps transforming and reshaping its ways to accommodate the diverse needs and expectations of people living here. Sydney is my second home. It is one bus ride away from any part of the world I want to experience. Sydney has a lot to offer, with a bit of everything! Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try to step out of your comfort zones. Living in a foreign country can be quite challenging. Relish every moment and let everything be a learning experience. Remember, growing starts when you get out of your comfort zone.

Navateja (Nava) Rudra

Navateja (Nava) Rudra

India
University of Wollongong
Masters of Professional Engineering (Telecommunications)

Sydney welcomes everyone to enjoy its natural environment. I like the multicultural diversity and the people are so helpful and kind, they are easy to get along with. Most of all I like the beaches that are around the city. I always end up at a nearby beach to watch the sunset. I also love the food. Sydney caters to food lovers with its variety of cuisines – all of them so delicious! Sometimes you will find living in a foreign country hard but no matter how hard it is, enjoy your journey. Engaging as a volunteer helps you make new friends and can also improve your language skills.

Yun-Jung (Jennifer) Lee

Yun-Jung (Jennifer) Lee

Taiwan
University of Wollongong
Bachelor of Business Information Systems

Sydney is a multicultural city. I love the environment here and making new friends with many international people. Unlike other big cities, people here are friendly and always greeting people even when they don’t know you. My favourite places in Sydney are the many parks – I love to spend my leisure time in the park having a cup of coffee and relaxing. Never be afraid to speak English even if you make mistakes – it will only make your English better. And take your passport when you go out because you never know when you might need ID.

Anirudh Dhawan

Anirudh Dhawan

India
University of Wollongong
Bachelor of Commerce (Dean’s Scholar)

What I like most about Sydney is no matter where you come from you can find people from your own country here. The diversity of cultures in Sydney means you won’t be far away from your home culture. The fact Sydney is a melting pot of international cultures means it offers a great platform for people to appreciate and learn from other cultures. If you want to improve your English and analytical skills I suggest adopting hobbies such as debating and public speaking. Also, to meet new people ask your university about their international student societies and programs.

Luiz Gubeissi

Luiz Gubeissi

Brazil
TAFE Northern Sydney (Meadowbank)
Certificate IV Diploma in Community Services

Sydney is the whole world in one city – contemporary, futuristic, multicultural. This city of villages opens your mind to the new. The mix between urban landscapes and nature is fascinating and inspiring. The thing that caught my attention most in the first few moments I was in the city were artists performing on the street. Taking a tour of nearby beaches is something essential. If you like live music there is a wide variety of music styles in bars, restaurants and venues spread across the city. Walking is the best way to discover the most amazing places and art.

Xinyu (Amy) Liang

Xinyu (Amy) Liang

China
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Commerce

I particularly enjoy the different festivals on offer – Sydney Festival, Vivid Sydney, Living in Harmony – there is something for everyone and something to do throughout the whole year. You are sure to fall in love with the city. Make good use of the resources provided at your university or college and actively participate in clubs and societies. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people. Mark upcoming deadlines and start school projects early so you have sufficient time to complete your work.

Hong (Edward) Wang

Hong (Edward) Wang

China
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Law & Bachelor of Commerce

Sydney is my second home and it helps me fulfil my dreams: world-class higher education, cultural diversity, friendly community, professional working environment and life-long friendships. I fell in love with this city immediately when I stepped out of the airport. When you start your journey in Sydney there is no stepping back. More or less, Sydney has changed our lives, values and futures. Embrace your new lifestyle, be part of the community and through hard work your personal ambitions will be realised.

Tian Qin

Tian Qin

China
University of Sydney
Master of Commerce

Sydney is a vibrant city that you will never feel bored living in. Not only is its natural environment appealing to me, but also its multicultural dynamics with numerous events and festivals happening throughout the year. And so much more to explore! Take the initiative and seize every opportunity to get involved in extracurricular activities. Once you step out of your comfort zone, you will find a whole new world full of surprises and inspirations.

Yen (Jenny) Tran

Yen (Jenny) Tran

Vietnam
University of Sydney
Master of Logistics Management

Sydney is well-known for its diversity and great effort to maintain harmony. My life here has never been boring because I have met people from over 40 nations and the more I talk to them, the more my experience expands and I see the world from different viewpoints, which reshapes my future. At one point during my studies I was juggling several volunteer events with my university assignments, which made me realise I needed more time with family and friends and it helped me deal with the stresses. I also learnt to plan my time well.

Alireza Mersad

Alireza Mersad

Iran
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Project Management (Civil Engineering Science)

I live in student housing at the university and in the past year I have made many friends who also live there. It made it very easy to connect with people. I have constantly been exploring the city and the festivals here are the best I have seen so far. Travel as much as possible when you are here and join the clubs and societies you are interested in at your institution. Also, try to socialise with classmates, colleagues and teachers, in and outside of your classes or work.

Joanita Wibowo

Joanita Wibowo

Indonesia
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications)

My university provides wonderful opportunities to study and enhance both academic and non-academic capabilities. I had to adapt to a brand new way of studying so I used the services available, which are not just for local students. I went to extra workshops for first year students and took advantage of the tutor consultation hours to ask more questions about assignments and lectures. During my spare time I have been exploring Sydney and taking advantage of everything it has on offer such as New Year at Circular Quay, the Easter Show and discovering different cultures in Newtown.

Shawan Kumar

Shawan Kumar

Fiji
University of Sydney
Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience

There is much to love about Sydney. In particular, I am drawn to its counterculture – the different demographics represented in Sydney is quite interesting. There is much pandemonium about labels, stereotypes, what a person should be doing, should have done but didn’t and so on. A friend of mine once said, “we need to learn and ‘unlearn’ at the same time”. Learning lies in the mistakes you make so don’t let the fear of making a mistake stop you from doing what you want to do. The world is your oyster and you are a grain of sand among another 7 billion. The question is, are you willing to be a pearl?

Dhimas Utomo

Dhimas Utomo

Indonesia
University of New South Wales
Bachelor of Food Science and Technology

Sydney has won my heart. It provides space for both personal and academic growth. It is undoubtedly vibrant and rich and is a window to see the entire world in a spotlight. I am a proud Sydneysider and look forward to experiencing #myfuturesydney. I aim to be part of a dynamic group of leaders, promoting mutual understanding among students from various backgrounds. I challenge myself to give back to the community as contributing to me matters. Be open, be adventurous and be happy Sydneysiders!

Nicholas Tay

Nicholas Tay

Singapore
University of New South Wales
Bachelor of Industrial Design

Sydney is a city where art, society and culture strive together and become a part of exploring as a whole. I see Sydney becoming the next industrial city of the world coupled with the diversity of nations and the knowledge of a first world city. The Sydney Opera House is just one important building that exhibits diversity and art. With great opportunities for everyone, Sydney is definitely the place to be for me, as a future industrial designer. Shopping ‘hiding spots’ are well-known – check out Double Bay for trendy local fashion designers or travel to Burwood for authentic cuisine from northern China – every suburb is different. So go and have fun!

Zaki Haidari

Zaki Haidari

Afghanistan
Martin College
Graphic Design

Sydney has such a nice community and I enjoy living in a dynamic, multicultural city with a pleasant climate. I feel Sydney has enabled me to live a quality life and overall it has truly been a life-changing experience. The beaches, national parks, picturesque harbour and warm weather make life a pleasure and every weekend a new adventure. Give time for your study and ensure you have a work-life balance so you can explore Sydney and see its beautiful attractions. Get involved and make new friends by joining a club, sport or other extra-curricular activities where you’ll find other like-minded people.

James Kwa

James Kwa

Singapore
University of New South Wales
Bachelors of Commerce/Arts

My experience in Sydney so far has been nothing short of magical. I have already lived here for 2 years and I am amazed by the work-life balance that Sydneysiders enjoy. Being exposed to a new culture can really be scary at times, which can force you to retreat into your comfort zone. But always remember that the perks and privileges of gaining exposure outside your comfort zone can be so much more satisfying and rewarding. Take that leap of faith and be open to changes, be open to challenges and a rewarding future will be waiting for you.

Jia Ni (Laura) Liu

Jia Ni (Laura) Liu

China
University of Sydney
Masters of Management

Sydney is the place that witnessed the end of my teenage years with tons of ups and downs. It is such a special place to me where I encountered the most inspiring teachers, fabulous community workers, friendly colleagues and vibrant peers. The beauty of this city lies in the hands of these amazing Sydney residents – they have created a great multicultural vibe in Sydney, I couldn’t help but immerse myself into it. The world is becoming a more transnational space and Sydney is such a multicultural city, so just breathe in and enjoy the environment.

2013/14 International Student Leaders and Ambassadors

Abinesh Abinesh Ilangovan
India
UTS, Sydney
Masters Engineering Studies
Sydney is lively and vibrant. There are lots of different places to visit and explore – I gain different perspectives about the city by visiting different suburbs. I volunteer with the City and also work in a fine dining restaurant in Parramatta. I like Sydney very much.
Ain Aki Jung Ain Aki Jung
South Korea
University of Sydney
Bachelor Commerce
Sydney is a multicultural city where you can enjoy not only Australian culture, but many other cultures such as Thai, Chinese, and Italian. I participate in volunteer work and student societies at university, which is a great way to be engaged with uni life and meet some fantastic people! I would like to say to international students that it may be hard and sometimes very awkward to be settling into a new country and city and keeping up with studying is always very tough. However, I find that visiting many beautiful places and taking part in fun events in Sydney has helped me to relieve those stresses. Participating in volunteer work such as the ISLA program has been fantastic. It is such a great opportunity to learn about and be engaged with the events the City runs.
Anne Sukanantatham Anne Sukanantatham
Thailand
Central Queensland University, Sydney campus
Masters Human Management
Sydney is a great multicultural city, people come from different countries and are willing to learn from other people from all over the world. The first year I came here, I was homesick. I was in Chatswood, and never went to the city. Later my Thai friends took me to Chinatown and Paddy's Market and I was impressed with the Thai groceries and restaurants, which helped me feel more settled. I am a volunteer mentor at university helping other students, I also have a part-time job and sometimes go to the gym. All new students should go sightseeing around Sydney and join societies at their own university to meet other students they can talk to and share experiences.
Anston Ratanyake Anston Ratanyake
Sri Lanka
University of Western Sydney
Bachelor Social Sciences
I enjoy the cultural diversity and the laid-back attitude for which Australians are famous. Sydney is a safe place with great beaches, museums dedicated to old and contemporary art, theatres, and a never-ending selection of restaurants. I work for the University of Western Sydney as the international admissions assistant. I also own my own online cupcake business with my partner. I love cooking and celebrating everything with food. I plan to go on 'Masterchef' or 'The Great Australian Bake Off' one day. To new international students, I would say never underestimate yourself, break the glass ceiling and strive for the best. Once you believe that you can do it, you are unstoppable.
Bhavini Sailesh Dattani Bhavini Sailesh Dattani Tanzania
Australian Catholic University/Holmes Institute
BA Human Resources/
Masters Professional Accounting
I enjoy the multinational cultures in Sydney and making friends from different ethnicities. It is good to live in a developed country with social independence. There are various interest classes to join and endless opportunities for everyone. I am currently looking for a job, and trying to be more active in my life. I am part of ISLA and help out with projects like the Chinese New Year parade. For new international students – don’t be afraid to try new challenges – it is through them that you will build self-esteem. Try to make new friends from different backgrounds, it’s one of the richest experiences you will have.
Minnie Chuyi Sheng

Minnie Chuyi Sheng
China
University of Sydney
Masters Media Practice

To enjoy authentic cuisines from different countries in just one city is such an amazing journey. There is no doubt that Sydney is a fantastic city with diverse multicultural communities. I like trying different food, engaging in colourful events and studying with classmates from various cultural backgrounds. I have learnt ballet and Chinese traditional dancing since I was 6-years-old, so dancing is my vocation. I go to studios and community centres for dancing and yoga classes. Also, having a part-time job and taking part in volunteering helped me gain many precious life experiences. If you have just arrived here, the very first thing is to be confident. You are in a country that you have never lived in and speaking a language that is not your native language, so you need to know how strong you already are, and believe in yourself that you can conquer everything.
Eun Song (Marina) Chi Eun Song (Marina) Chi South Korea
Australian Catholic University
Bachelor Visual Art and Design
I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere in Sydney. The streets are not full of people, and there is nature everywhere. Even on days when I am stuck in my room all day, working on my assignment on the computer, I still feel relaxed by simply going out for a short walk in the evening and being surrounded by the beautiful Sydney environment. I spend time singing and playing the guitar as a member of my local Korean church choir group. For new international students – always remain confident. Fake it if you have to! Just because you are in a foreign country, it does not mean that you have to be less active or remain silent and unnoticed. When others make you feel unwelcome, welcome yourself to the country and hold your chin up. Enjoy your time here and make every day count!
Felicia Lau

Felicia Lau
Malaysia
University of NSW
Bachelor Commerce

I like the student clubs and societies that Sydney has, it emphasises the importance of being an all-rounder and the need to play, as well as study hard. I enjoy the beaches and the sea, with its beautiful sea creatures. They are an attraction that cannot be resisted. I enjoy the city, the high-rise buildings, the Sydney view and its people. I visit the city and hang out with my friends. I love to explore the areas around Sydney. Also, I indulge in good food all around, especially those in Chinatown! I enjoy getting involved in clubs and societies, as it brings out the best in me! I urge new international students to explore, experience and enjoy.
Giovanni Mellisa Soesanto Giovanni Mellisa Soesanto
Indonesia
UTS, Sydney
Bachelor Medical Science/
Bachelor Business
I enjoy Sydney's environment, diverse cultural backgrounds, and feeling safe and secure in a clean, and organised city.I have been working part-time in a fast food restaurant, peer-tutoring at the UTS students' association and volunteering at different student clubs and societies. I am in the church choir club, and I am also a member of the ISLA social and support team. New international students should seek out tips for the transport system (buses and trains), renting apartments, and getting around their university.
Hendra Wijaya

Hendra Wijaya
Indonesia
University of Sydney
Masters Information Technology Management

I really enjoy studying and living in Sydney because of the quality of education and the convenient location of most of the educational institutions. The Australian culture is surprisingly rich, and helps everyone to feel accepted. You can find food from almost anywhere in the world here. Police officers take their jobs seriously and I always feel safe and secure. I have been very focussed on my studies to ensure that I pass my exams and assignments. My advice to new international students would be read as much information as you can and try to make at least one good friend to help guide you through the good and bad times.


I-Chu (Alyssa) Kao I-Chu (Alyssa) Kao
Taiwan
Macquarie University
Masters International Business and International Relations
Studying in Sydney is really interesting to see and understand my peers' ideas, particularly because we are all from different countries. Here, everyone has the chance to share their opinions. It is totally opposite in my country where we only talk after class because we are not allowed to talk in class. I enjoy living in Sydney because there are a lot of events happening such as shopping nights, lots of beaches, market events, community festivals and fireworks. I spend my spare time going out with my friends for dinner and lunch or sightseeing. My advice to new international students would be, don't be afraid to talk with your peers.
Iuliia Tepliakova Iuliia Tepliakova
Russian Federation
UTS, Sydney
Bachelor Business
Sydney never fails to amaze me. I like the way it keeps transforming and reshaping its ways to accommodate the diverse needs and expectations of those living here. Sydney has a lot to offer if one knows where to look for it. A bit of everything. So far I managed to (hopefully quite successfully) split my study-free time between family, friends, hobbies, volunteering, being an international student ambassador and other life commitments. I’ve always thought of Sydney as a living creature, capable of its own independent thinking. As such, it might become your best friend or worst enemy. So I’d say, treat the city in a way that you want it to treat you back, and you two will definitely get along!
Joanne Louise Valiente Gomez Joanne Louise Valiente Gomez
Philippines
UTS, Sydney
Masters Engineering Science/Masters Engineering Management
I enjoy meeting new people from all over the world, making good friends and just making the most of what uni and Sydney has to offer. There are heaps of places to go in the city and so many activities throughout the year. Besides studying, I work part-time. I also visit different places around Sydney and just hang out with friends. The beaches here are divine and remind me so much of home so I go as often as I can. My tips for new international students would be no matter how tough it gets, just hang on and enjoy the journey. Living in a foreign country can be quite challenging at first but relish every moment and let everything be a learning experience. Remember, growing starts when you get out of your comfort zone.
Le Quan (Jenny) Ly Le Quan (Jenny) Ly Vietnam
UTS, Sydney
Bachelor Biomedical Science
Sydney is my second home. The academic life is quite hectic sometimes, however the lectures are world-class. I am passionate about community work and I have participated in many not-for-profit organisations in Sydney to raise funds for research, help homeless people, children, people with cancer or anyone that is in need of a hand. I feel so proud to be in Australia, the country with the strongest charity culture in the world! I enjoy cooking great Chinese and Vietnamese foods, especially baking different kind of cakes for my family and friends. Seeing my family members and beloved friends eating great foods and spend time together is the best feeling. My advice to new students is to be active and confident! Volunteering is a great way to improve your English, make new friends and understand more about Australian culture.
Mohammad Fahad Gul Mohammad Fahad Gul Pakistan
University of Western Sydney
BA Business and Commerce (Accounting)
The multicultural environment of Sydney is one of the best aspects of studying and living here. People living in harmony with each other is an example for the world itself. There is no dish, religious place, or dress that you will not find in Sydney, and all cultural and religious events are celebrated here. Sydney is just like home, and yet it is is one bus ride away from any part of the world I want to experience. Despite being from a developing country, I am currently an international leader for the Parramatta Campus Council of the University of Western Sydney. Being part of the ISLA program is a great platform to learn and give. I am also working for a multinational electronics goods manufacturer as a customer service representative. I love to play my guitar and I have performed in various events at my University. I also enjoy going to the beach or having a barbecue with friends on a hot sunny day. New students – be yourself and do things that will benefit you in the future. Volunteer, participate and enjoy as many events as possible around Sydney. Interact with people from all over the world and make new friends. Try to have the best possible Sydney experience. Believe me, it’s worth it!
Mohammed Irfaan Amanoollah Oodally Mohammed Irfaan Amanoollah Oodally Mauritius
Charles Sturt University, Sydney campus
Bachelor Business Accounting
I most enjoy Sydney for the opportunity to meet lots of different people from different backgrounds and cultures. I work at the Sydney Opera House as a customer service assistant. I am also the vice-president of the student representative committee for my university.This city has plenty to enjoy and the people are really friendly.
Mohammed Ishraque Chowdhury Mohammed Ishraque Chowdhury
Bangladesh
UTS, Sydney
Bachelor Civil Engineering
I absolutely love the fact that Sydney has been an amazing place to live in because of the people here. They are so warm and welcoming that being homesick hasn’t been on my mind lately. Since I live in the main business district of the city, I am extremely close to all the local ‘happenings’. Not only am I able to enjoy the Australian culture but I’m making numerous friends as well as social and academic contacts. Living in Sydney without my family has been hard sometimes, but the city’s liveliness has meant I did not miss home all that much. There’s always events happening in Sydney, like the New Year’s Eve fireworks, which are world class. Besides studying, I’m always exploring the city with my friends and trying different foods from different cultures. Not only that, there are quite a few outdoor places, so I’m often going on road trips or weekend getaways.
Muhammad Omar Khan Muhammad Omar Khan Pakistan
Charles Sturt University, Sydney campus
Masters Information Technology
I have only been in Sydney for a year but I have enjoyed the very multicultural and multi-ethnic environment. I have enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and expanding my world view. I’ve also enjoyed the peace of mind, the various events and the amazing sights that Sydney has to offer. I try to attend as many events and places as possible. While working and with friends, I have managed to go to many different places all over Sydney and beyond. I especially enjoy the beaches and try to go as frequently as possible. I really enjoy going to the movies and visiting Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. Just can’t get enough of it! My tips for new students would be to expand your world view, integrate into society and enjoy each day to the fullest.
Ngoc Dang Khoa Nguyen

Ngoc Dang Khoa Nguyen
Vietnam
UTS, Sydney
Masters Information Technology

I enjoyed meeting many friendly people from different cultures and being able to live in such a multicultural community. I have joined various clubs and societies and engaged with Australian life including watching AFL (Australian Football League). I would advise new international students to make friends with everyone, not just stay with one group of friends from your own country.
Nikolay Gudkov Nikolay Gudkov
Russia
University of NSW
Masters Commerce
In Sydney I have enjoyed the excellent weather, unique character and the atmosphere of different cultures. I love listening to classical music at the Opera House and visiting Sydney’s museums. I also love going to the beaches. For new students, remember, it is very important to study hard at university, but at the same time enjoy life in one of the world’s greatest cities, with so many things to do.
Purinut (Nate) Phumitharanon Purinut (Nate) Phumitharanon
Thailand
University of Sydney
Bachelor Medical Science
I have enjoyed studying, especially meeting people from different backgrounds and gaining knowledge from a well-established institution. Living in Sydney I have most enjoyed the environment, the people, the food, and the warm community. I hangout with friends and colleagues and take part in USyd Thai Student Society activities. Shopping and eating is what I do a lot! My tips for new international students would be to be open-minded – do not judge people from their background or culture until you really know them. It is not right to judge a book by its cover.
Qihui (Ellen) Xiao Qihui (Ellen) Xiao
China
University of Sydney
Masters Public Communications
I enjoy the beautiful weather and amazing natural views in Sydney. It is great to meet students from all over the world and make new friends who have interesting stories, which has broadened my horizons. I am actively engaged with extra-curricular activities such as volunteer work and internships. Besides the ISLA program, I have worked with the Australian Chinese Youth Association to organise a premier cultural exchange event, 'HOME' which was successfully held at Sydney Town Hall. I also attended a NAIDOC event as a volunteer and learned a lot about Indigenous Australian culture and history. I have worked at Guide Dogs NSW and the Travel and Tourism Forum as a communications intern, which helped enhance my practical skills in media and communications. I would advise new international students to actively engage yourself with extra-curricular activities to get a real taste of local culture. Volunteer or internship experiences will help you better understand the local community, the working practices and current affairs in Australia.
Reeve Jude Koelmeyer Reeve Jude Koelmeyer
Sri Lanka
University of NSW
Bachelor Arts/Law
Sydney is a vibrant and cultural city that is ever-changing. What I enjoy the most about living in Sydney is the diverse range of restaurants and cafés. Furthermore, the growing arts movement in Sydney never leaves one dull on any night of the week. Besides study, I write poetry, socialise with my friends and occupy myself by volunteering and working on a pro bono basis for a host of organisations. Arriving international students should try and integrate as much as possible into Australian society and culture. It may seem easier said than done, but simply throw yourself into the deep end. So be brave, and have an open mind, free of any expectations
Reuben Blobahgar Gboweh Reuben Blobahgar Gboweh
Liberia
University of Sydney
Masters Project Management
I like the learning environment. The lecturers are down-to-earth and the people are friendly and willing to help. I regularly exercise, attend church activities, go to fraternal meetings and functions, and socialise with friends. I would say to new students that finding accommodation in Sydney is difficult and expensive. Getting to Sydney early before uni term starts, securing accommodation and settling down, before commencing your university studies, is highly recommended.
Salma Cristina Tabanji Sayegh Salma Cristina Tabanji Sayegh
Venezuela
University of Wollongong
Masters Business Administration Advanced
My favourite thing about being a student in Sydney is enjoying how relaxed and beautiful the city is. I can never get enough of all the parks – big, small, and hidden – you stumble upon everywhere you go in addition to a great city and beach life. It suits everyone! Besides studying, I work casually, volunteer with ISLA and hang out with friends. I am always looking forward to holidays to travel and engage in outdoor activities. Studying is very time consuming so it’s all about trying to squeeze in some fun to keep you going. In my experience, learning the English language is a key factor to help you adapt and feel more at ease with the community and the locals so practice, practice, practice! Also, when times get tough and crying or loneliness kicks in, talking to someone can make a difference – we do not always have to be, or can be strong.
Sean Hongxiang Xu Sean Hongxiang Xu
China
University of NSW
Masters Finance
Studying at UNSW has equipped me with critical thinking skills through academic study, communication skills through extra- curricular activities and has provided a jump start for my future career. It would have been hard for me to imagine getting the opportunity to work at a global investment bank without attending UNSW. Sydney is a great place for living and I enjoy its culture and diversity the most. I enjoy many different sports, including basketball, swimming and jogging along the beach. I am a big fan of the Sydney Swans football team (AFL) and I also liked attending music concerts in Sydney, including Usher, Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift. I would suggest all international students should make use of their time in Sydney, not only focus on academic achievement but also participate in social activities, and get involved in the local community. I really enjoy being a part of ISLA and my highlight was the opportunity to get interviewed by ABC Radio, the national broadcaster.
Siyu (Siri) Wang Siyu (Siri) Wang
China
University of NSW
BA Commerce
I enjoy my life here because I have the chance to make friends with people from different countries. The weather in Sydney is beautiful and the people are friendly. I like reading books, watching movies and listening to music in my spare time. Currently, I have a part-time job and do some volunteer work. As an international student first arriving in Australia, you may feel stressed, lost and homesick. That happened to me when I arrived. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes and try to step out of your comfort zone. You will learn that being an international student is a valuable and inspiring experience in your life!
Thanh Hien Thi Tran Thanh Hien Thi Tran Vietnam
University of NSW
Bachelor Commerce
I love the changing and unpredictable Sydney weather, as well as the relaxed outdoor lifestyle. Studying in Sydney is a great opportunity for you to explore yourself in a real multicultural environment and a great chance to develop professional skills and social skills. I am participating in clubs and societies around campus. I also have a part-time job in customer service. The key tip I want to share with new international students is to remember to say hi to everyone you meet on the street. It encourages confidence in speaking in English – if English is not your mother tongue – since Australians are very friendly. So don’t be shy to speak, just think before you speak.
Thi Thanh Tu (Tina) Tran Thi Thanh Tu (Tina) Tran
Vietnam
University of Sydney
Bachelor Commerce
Sydney is a very diverse and dynamic city. I love Sydney for its natural environments, beautiful beaches and amazing hiking areas, as well as its multiculturalism. I really enjoy meeting people from all around the globe in Sydney. It is also a very safe and fun city to live, study and work in. I enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking and taking a dip in the sea. I also work part-time and take part in charity and community work. I would advise new students to always have an open mind. There are so many opportunities for international students to grow and develop outside of academic study – it’s really up to us to take on these opportunities and make our time in Sydney memorable and valuable. Make sure you have fun and enjoy the city and reach out for help if you need it. There are a lot of support mechanisms for international students at universities, such as student organisations and the City of Sydney.
Thanh Hien Thi Tran Thien An (Annie) Tran Vietnam
University of Sydney, Taylors College
Foundation Program
Studying and living in Sydney has been a great experience for me as Sydney not only has breath-takingly beautiful scenery but it also has many celebrations to bring people together and enjoy their lives in their own ways. I often hang out with my friends at restaurants and enjoy the multicultural food, especially when we are stressed after exams and projects. After that, we usually go to parks for picnics and enjoy ourselves. To new students – get prepared, study, but don’t forget to save some spare time for yourself!
Vincent Hoang Nguyen Vincent Hoang Nguyen Vietnam
TAFE NSW
Diploma Children’s Services
Sydney has a multicultural atmosphere. There are people from everywhere in the world living here and doing all different jobs. I feel included and accepted in this community. I work part-time for a pre-school. I love swimming and I am a qualified swimming coach. When I have time I spend it with my family including my 4-year-old-boy. My advice to new students is to get out of your comfort zone as soon as you can, such as living in a place without people speaking your language, so that you can immerse yourself in a new culture and language. That experience is as valuable as your studying experience. Speak with everybody you meet, show your initiative in attempting to learn new things.

Vincent Tertius Wong Vincent Tertius Wong Indonesia
University of NSW
Bachelor Food Science and Technology
Australian education has a strong international reputation for excellence, which attracted me here. Since I came to Sydney, I have made a lot of friends from different nationalities. It is so amazing that people from different cultural backgrounds can meld together so peacefully in this city. For me, Sydney is the perfect place to live, learn and grow. I have joined some volunteer programs that have helped make new friends and increase my social and relationship skills. Also, here, international students are allowed to do part-time work, which I found very useful to train myself before applying for a job in my field. To new students – make a lot of friends, do not be afraid to greet and talk to other students, both local and international. Most of them are friendly and nice to talk to. Lastly, active participation in volunteer programs and student societies will definitely help you to grow independently.
 Vinh Duc Truong Vinh Duc Truong
Vietnam
University of NSW
Bachelor Civil Engineering/Architecture
Living and studying in Sydney for nearly 3 years, I always enjoy the multicultural atmosphere and beautiful environment with friendly people. I have enhanced both my technical knowledge and personal experiences which are all useful for my future life and work. I often have barbecues at the beach, participate in Sydney events, and most importantly, I volunteer with ISLA to gain valuable experiences while having fun at the same time. My best tips for newly commencing international students would be, get involved with the community, study hard, work hard and play the best! Honestly, Sydney is a city of opportunities and you should take advantage of it, making your experiences of Sydney the best.
 Xun (Trista) Wang Xun (Trista) Wang
China
UTS, Sydney
Bachelor Business
The environment for studying and living in Sydney is appealing. I enjoy taking part in many activities at uni, and attending various events in Sydney. I enjoy walking around in the city, participating in the many events, and I love traveling. Also, I like reading, chatting with friends, and watching movies. My tips for new students would be to go beyond your comfort zone, don’t just stay at home and study. Go out and meet new friends from all over the world and enjoy the cultural fusion.
 Kwan Yat (Anthony) Yeung Kwan Yat (Anthony) Yeung
Hong Kong
University of Sydney
Bachelor Commerce
I enjoy the transport system and lifestyle in Sydney. I also enjoy the public recreational facilities such as the State Library, the museums and swimming pools. People in the city are friendly and positive. Besides studying, I participate in volunteer work for St Vincent de Paul's and in student societies, helping international students explore the world via exchange programs in English teaching and volunteering. I go to the Victoria Park Swimming Pool weekly and I go bushwalking and ice skating with my schoolmates. During the winter holidays I worked at a fast food restaurant, which helped my understanding of Australian businesses. I strongly suggest to international students who have just arrived in Australia, to be confident in communicating with Australians. It is important to explore the Australian culture and to adapt to the lifestyle in Sydney. You should get out of your apartment during the weekend and travel around Sydney to meet and communicate with other people. You will find other international students who have similar experiences and you can overcome the challenges together.
 Youngrang (Ranna) Im Youngrang (Ranna) Im
South Korea
University of NSW
Bachelor Commerce
I love Sydney's diverse cultures. People from different backgrounds harmonise in Sydney. Studying and living here is a challenge but it is really fun, and I believe I am learning a lot by mingling with people from various cultures. Currently, I work in a hotel as a barista. I am also engaged with the Korean Student Association at UNSW. I would say to new international students that Sydney is filled with opportunities to experience something new. Don’t forget the reason why you came to Sydney and make your own way by having various experiences. Don’t stay in your room. Go out and experience new people and different cultures. Through ISLA, I have seen that the City of Sydney is doing so many wonderful things, and I have learnt how to cooperate with different people.
 Yun (Niki) Chen Yun (Niki) Chen
China
University of Sydney
Masters Media Practice
The weather, the people and the peaceful environment is what I enjoy most about studying and living in Sydney. Besides study, I work, hang out with friends and do volunteer work. My tip for new international students is don't be afraid and to embrace the city like your hometown. 
 Zhitong (Emma) Liu Zhitong (Emma) Liu
China
University of Sydney
Bachelor Commerce/Law
I very much enjoy the people: Sydneysiders have a well deserved reputation for diversity, fairness and inclusiveness. I love the Sydney weather and that you can wear anything at anytime of the year. Thongs and shorts in July? "No probs, mate!" I love the Sydney environment: the streets are always clean, the sky is always blue and the colour of the jacaranda blossoms. I have been participating in the student union and I was recently elected as a councillor for the 86th Student Representative Council at the University of Sydney. I have also been involved in student clubs and societies and I am working part-time. New students – arrive with an open mind and be a ‘joiner’. Anything is possible and don’t be afraid to give it a go.
 Zhiyu (Hannah) Zhang Zhiyu (Hannah) Zhang
China
University of NSW
Bachelor Accounting and Finance
I never feel bored studying and living in Sydney because every month there are different fabulous events, such as Vivid Sydney, Good Food Month, and so on. Besides studying, I also work as a marketing assistant at an investment company and I am public relations director at the UNSW Chinese Students' Association. To new students – don’t be afraid of walking out of your comfort zone. Try to say hi to everyone who sits next to you in a lecture or tutorial and join some societies and clubs so that you can make many new friends.
 Zichen (Avery) Wang

Zichen (Avery) Wang
China
University of Sydney
Bachelor Commerce/Law

Sydney is a prosperous modern city. It is especially attractive because of its cultural diversity. I enjoy studying and living in Sydney because I can meet different people from different backgrounds and I find that people have an incredible tolerance and respect for cultural differences. It is always interesting to get to learn from different people about their language, culture and thoughts. I have a number of roles here in student bodies such as the Chinese Law Student Society. Outside university, I work as a part-time paralegal in a law firm. I spend most of my spare time travelling around Australia.

Last updated: Tuesday, 20 June 2017