StudyNSW heads to Darwin for the CISA conference

13 July 2016

StudyNSW attended the 2016 Council of International Students Australia (CISA) national conference in Darwin from 5-8 July.

This year's conference theme was “Breaking down barriers, facing the future together as one”.

There was lively interaction amongst students and sector representatives on issues that currently concern international students such as employability, accommodation, and immigration. The conference also provided updates on policy and strategy at both state and national government level including discussion on the National Strategy for International Education and the Australian Global Alumni Strategy.

CISA Conference 2016 largeStudyNSW Director, Peter Mackey, presented at a session at the conference - “Struggle to survive or thrive: how international graduates should position themselves for lasting success in the job market of the future”. Peter highlighted how employers are increasingly focusing on “soft skills” and gave examples of ways that students can develop these skills.

Joining Peter at this session were Vivian Zhou and Judith Ah-Chuen, both undergraduate international students from UNSW, who were selected by CISA to receive a conference equity scholarship. StudyNSW sponsored 10 equity scholarships which were offered to students throughout Australia to attend the conference.

Vivian and Judith shared their experiences of building employability skills through StudyNSW sponsored projects. Vivian was a team leader for one of the NSW Global Scope teams - an initiative supported through StudyNSW Partner Projects. Vivian's project considered the value of international students to NSW communities and made recommendations on ways to improve community engagement. Vivian and her team worked for six weeks with project management guidance from a StudyNSW mentor and an EY mentor and was one of two teams selected to present their final report in front of the The Hon. Stuart Ayres, MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism & Major Events at a graduation ceremony held at Parliament House in Sydney. Find out more about NSW Global Scope.

Judith shared her experience as a volunteer and team leader on the international student welcome desk based at Sydney International Airport and how she progressed to part-time employment at StudyNSW as an administrative assistant for the welcome desk.

StudyNSW congratulates CISA for organising another successful national conference and for its role in advocating for the interests of international students in Australia.