Study NSW awarded CISA Stakeholder of the Year
21 August 2019
Study NSW was humbled to receive the Council of International Students (CISA) Stakeholder of the Year award at the 9th CISA National Conference in Perth last month. The annual awards acknowledge and celebrate the talent, leadership, dedication and commitment towards the international student community in Australia across five award categories.
The 9th CISA National Conference empowered over 200 international student leaders from across the country through a vibrant, engaging program and celebrated their contributions to the Australian community.
Salwa, an international student from Indonesia who studies at the University of Newcastle shares her experience of attending the CISA Conference
It was an enriching experience to attend the CISA Conference that was held in Perth between 15-19 July. I would like to extend my appreciation to the Study NSW team for giving me an equity conference scholarship and for making this trip possible. I am very grateful to the NSW Government who awarded this scholarship and to five other Study NSW scholarship recipients - Alejandra, Zoe, Michael, Rahim, and Pooja. We first met as strangers but turned into close friends.
I feel very honoured to receive this scholarship to learn more about the current issues, policies and barriers experienced by international students studying in Australia such as employability, mental health and well-being, alumni networks, global citizenship, sustainability and other important issues for the international education sector.
Some of the statements given by the panel speakers also left a deep impression on me. One of the interesting topics was about international students mental health and well-being. The facts show that many international students are reluctant to discuss about their mental health due to the cultural stigma which is considered taboo to talk about. One of the the amazing things about this conference was that helpful tips and solutions were shared such as mental health workshop for university staffs and students and mindfulness activities.
Another important issue for the international education sector is employability of international students. Some of the main barriers to international students employment experiences are lack of networking, a limited competence in English language skills and also lack of understanding of local working settings. It is hoped that there will be solutions to overcome these problems such as by conducting employability training skills for international students, leadership workshops and other programs to enhance international students’ employability skills.
I feel very honoured to receive this scholarship to learn more about the current issues, policies and barriers experienced by international students studying in Australia.
During the conference, I met many professionals, international student leaders and amazing student peers. It was wonderful to talk with such wonderful people during the breaks. Having great discussions with them gave me opportunities to increase my knowledge, new perspectives and learn to see with different view.
I also had a great time when I was attending after conference programs held in the afternoon such as Perth Mint Tour, Fremantle river cruise and the Study Perth Scavenger Hunt. These programs not only helped me make new friends but also explore the city as it was my first time to Perth.
The last unforgettable session was gala dinner with a cultural diversity theme. I was amazed that hundreds of participants attended from more than thirty different nations. They wore colourful and beautiful national costumes. We all enjoyed gala dinner by singing and dancing together. It showed that despite the cultural diversity, Australia is a vibrant and multicultural country which is one of its greatest strengths.
In the conference gala dinner, in the awards presentation session, I felt lucky to receive Study NSW Equity Conference Scholarship Award given by the Honorable Kim Beazley, the Governor of Western Australia.
All in all, the experience of attending five days at the CISA conference will become a treasured memory and be cherished in my life.