Where is your home country?


What languages do you speak?

Indonesian and English

Fun fact

I am a cat lover, I love rain, and I love sending and receiving hand written cards. I also ride my bike everyday.

What do you study?

Ph.D in Education

Where do you study?

The University of Newcastle

Tell us about your experience studying in NSW.

Australia is an ideal destination and studying in NSW is really worth it as it has supported international students both in academic, welfare, and well-being particularly during the COVID-19 outbreaks, study NSW has provided both financial and mental health to support international students facing hardships. For me, I am studying in Newcastle, it is such a vibrant coastal city and it has friendly environment. It offers a more affordable cost of living and a diverse variety of festivals and attractions.

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Experience is key and studying in NSW has provided me with work-integrated learning opportunities that sharpened my professional and interpersonal skills.

What has been your favourite experience in NSW?

One of my favourite and unforgettable experience was when I joint 5 Land Walks on June 2019. It was a day-long festival along 10 km (6 hours walking time) of spectacular coastline on the Central Coast starts at Mac Masters beach heads north to the surf clubs at Copacabana, Avoca beach, bush tracks and back roads to the surf club at Terrigal.

I found a unique and authentic experience because besides viewing the mesmerising beaches, visiting the exhibitions, enjoying the Aboriginal ceremonies and ethnic cultural displays and watch some whales, I also learnt Australian laid- back lifestyles, etc.

Another great moment was when I joint the Tree-Top Adventure in Newcastle. I actually challenged myself to do what scares me as I was afraid of heights but I was happy that finally I did something I did not think I could do.

What advice do you have for other international students?

While you are studying in Australia, try to get as much experience as you can such as by attending trainings, activities, making friends with other international students from different background and cultures also get immersed with local people to enhance the experience of living abroad and also to practice our English. Also connect with the student community to get a sense of familiarity abroad and get a taste of home, such as becoming a member of the Indonesian Student Association (PPIA) or your own student community.

In addition, try to build international experience with a range of global volunteering opportunities because besides increasing our communication skills, time-management techniques, through helping others it has also come to better understand ourselves. Australia is also a country which truly recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteer.

My advice for other international students is just do everything or volunteering activities because of your passion and your soul calling to help others and not for the sake of recognition or validation from others because the bitter fact of life is some people will never appreciate you. Therefore, if you do kindness purely from your heart, you will never get disappointed because the rewards come directly from God. Do some small kind gestures such as holding a door open for someone, smiling at strangers, etc. Those little things can help make someone’s Day.

Lastly, this is my mom’s advice that I always remember, if you are successful, do not become arrogant, keep humble and never change your personality.

What opportunities has studying in NSW given to you?

Studying in NSW has given me a very positive experience both in academic, personal and social life. I was lucky that I received a scholarship from the Australian government to pursue my Ph.D in the college of  Human and Social Futures, the University of Newcastle Australia which is one of the bonafide universities in Australia. The University of Newcastle Australia is ranked top 200 in the world by QS World University Rankings 2021.

2020 has been a gift to me, despite the COVID-19 chaos as in last year. I received some surprise nominations from my true friends and I was truly humbled that I was acknowledged in some prestigious awards. These include:

  • Recipient of ‘2020 Newcastle Volunteer Service Awards’ in the Community Service category
  • Shortlisted nominee 2020 Shine Awards, The Weekly Times and Harvey Norman
  • Shortlisted nominee for Hunter Region of 2020 NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards
  • Finalist of 2020 Volunteer of the Year Awards in Student Engagement Awards in November 2020
  • Finalist of 2020 Excellence Awards the University of Newcastle Australia in December 2020
  • Shortlisted nominee of ‘2020 UNSA Postgraduate Student Awards’ in Postgrad Perseverance Awards (Research) category on November 2020
  • 2020 Inspirational Women NSW in NSW Inspirational Woman Social Media Initiative in August 2020.
  • Shortlisted nominee 2020 Women Acknowledging Women Awards
  • 2019 Study NSW Equity CISA Conference Scholarship recipient

Other opportunities that studying NSW has given to me was once I tutored at the Wollotuka institute, the University of Newcastle Australia in 2018. This gave me a valuable chance to learn Indigenous and Aboriginal cultures.

Currently, in 2021, I volunteered in the Orientation week as stall support for i-LEAD Plus (International Leadership and Development) program on February 2021. I am also part of 2021 Peer Mentor program, 2021 Uni Crew (volunteer in Drive-in Cinema) and from March 2021 I am a member of student working group as an advocate for equity groups and work closely with the Centre of Excellence in Equity for Higher Education (CEEHE).

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500x500 Student Stories - Salwa 3