International Students Forum 2014

5 students from our college, 3 international and 2 local participated in the International Students Forum, 2014 on Wednesday April 30th, 2014. Along with them were around 120 students from twenty-five other government, private and catholic schools.

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The international students shared their unique, authentic stories and experiences with others, and also raised some issues that they felt really challenging such as integration with local students, the high demand for language skills when doing VCE, loneliness due to living alone in a new country, etc. Then the local and international students formed teams to discuss what they can do, what their school can do, as well as what the community can do to make the international students’ study life more enjoyable in Australia. Each team even developed some cards with recommendations that they agreed on, to be presented to the Minister of Education.

 

I believe our 5 students all had a lovely day out and have taken something back from the experience. Below is some of what they told about what they had learned from the forum.

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I realized that we sometimes discriminated the international students because of their accent and language level. We hurt them without realizing. We should stop judging them. We should see ways in which they are better than us rather than the places in which they are not good as us. We should treat everyone like that. Sumeyra K 10A

 

At the forum, I learnt how badly some international students get treated. That needs to be fixed. I learnt that the international students carry more pressure to succeed than the local ones.  Van Anh Duong 10A

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I have learnt that all the students at all the schools are equal, and that domestic students really appreciate the presence of the international students in their schools. I have also learned that communicating with students from different schools is actually interesting and funny. I really enjoyed the forum and I feel that my voice was heard. Veronika 10A

 

My time at the forum turned out to be an eye opening experience. As my 6th year as an international student, I was intrigued by the many stories shared by both international and local students. Even though many positive experiences were heard, negative issues raised as well. We spent a good part of the day in groups discussing ways to tackle issues, as well as offering advice to students undergoing hardship. By the end of the day, I felt everyone was glad to have their issues heard as well as to find that their hardship was shared by other students. This day was indeed a success as I came out with a much more broadened perspective. Catalina 12A

Lucy Wang —International Student Manager

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