Thomson Ch'ng

Where is your home country?


What languages do you speak?

Chinese, Malay, English, Hokkien, Hainanese, Cantonese

Fun fact

I like chickens. When I was Year 6, my reward from my parents for doing well in my examination was to rear chickens at our backyard.

What did you study?

Master of Science (Project Management)

Where did you study?

Curtin University Sydney

Tell us about your experience studying in NSW

One word I would use to describe my international student journey in NSW is transformational. From someone who does not command confidence to someone who has the confidence to speak publicly in Australia and at the United Nations Youth Forum, I am forever grateful of the opportunity that NSW and Australia has provided. It is not just about the beautiful beaches, mountains and the amazing food. It's also about the quality of the people I was given the opportunity to be surrounded by. The world class experience studying, living and working in NSW has allowed international students like myself to thrive locally and globally. It gives me the confidence to take on the world.

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One word I would use to describe my international student journey in NSW is transformational

What has been your favourite experience in NSW?

As an international student, I spent most of my time in Sydney. The iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are impressive architecture. Watching the symbolic Sydney NYE fireworks on 31st December with the crowd every year was one of my favourite experience. It has become an envy of my friends from other parts of the world. Sydney Light Festival called Vivid Sydney and Sculpture by the Sea were memorable. The BBQ at a park during long weekends is something that is unique to the Australian culture.

What advice do you have for other international students?

As the winner of the 2020 PIEoneer Awards, International Alumni of the Year, and the 2013 NSW International Student Awards for higher education, my advice for international students has been consistent throughout the years and that is, do not be afraid to make mistakes. Student life is the best time to make mistakes because it is how you learn. Second and important advice is that Australia is a country that practices freedom of speech and democracy. In this context, it is important to speak up and international students must unlearn their culture (temporarily) and integrate to the local community in order to thrive and succeed.

What opportunities has studying in NSW given to you?

Studying in NSW has given me the opportunity to transform my life. I lost my mum when I was young and as a result, I have suffered from depression. It was not until a study abroad experience in NSW that has become my turning point in life. It has given me the opportunities to write a new chapter of my life. English is my third language. NSW is the place where I have enhanced my English language communication and public speaking skills. It allowed me to make new friends with people from countries around the world, acquire new skills and knowledge through volunteering with Multicultural NSW as part of their Multicultural Youth Network and became a Founding Delegate and the 4th National President of the Council of International Students Australia. I gained valuable work experience through internship placement with a world class global organisation, Thomson Reuters. Through this experience, I was connected to business leaders from around the world. NSW is one of the most multicultural states on the planet. The opportunity to connect with people from all around the globe has enhanced my cross-cultural understanding and cultural intelligence. Above all, studying in NSW has enabled me to learn about public policy making in a parliamentary democracy system, connect with and learn from public servants, including parliamentarians. As a result, I was appointed as a Special Advisor to the Member of Parliament in my home state of Penang, Malaysia, who are committed to institutional reform to parliamentary democracy in my country.

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