Student Ambassadors

The Study Cairns Student Ambassador program offers a fantastic opportunity to international secondary and higher education students in Cairns to be the “face” of international students. Ambassadors are invited to VIP behind the scenes experiences, personal development workshops, cultural happenings, offered professional networking opportunities and get the opportunity to lead and facilitate events across the city.

This year, we have an amazing and diverse group of Ambassadors with many different nationalities representing  Cairns. They share their adventures on their social media and in blogs. We asked them to share some insights about themselves, why they chose to study in Cairns, what it’s really like to study in Cairns.

Freddie Liad (Philippines) – Advanced Diploma in Hospitality, Frontier Education

Freddie Liad (Philippines) – Advanced Diploma in Hospitality, Frontier Education

Before I moved to Cairns, I completed a Diploma in Hospitality Services at Philippine Women’s University. Currently, I am Studying an Advanced Diploma in Hospitality at Frontier Education as it is related to my qualification back home.

I picked Cairns as my study destination because it is a relaxed city close to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, which I think is really beautiful to live and study in. Since moving here, I have realised Cairns has such a diverse community. I have met a lot of people from all over the world, which has made it easy to expand my network and find some good friends. Studying in Cairns has also helped me be myself as everyone here is different and unique but we are all learning together and sharing the same experiences which gives us all something to relate to.

Also, Cairns is not a stressful city, not over populated, very clean and the flow of traffic is not congested which makes it easier to travel from one place to another. During my days off I like swimming in the northern beaches of Cairns. I love that Cairns Council supplies free barbecues along the beaches and the Esplanade, which is very accessible and beneficial for everyone, including the international students when they want to hang out anytime.

I have attended some activities at the Student Hub since I arrived, including, workshops like Self-care, Preparing for IELTS, volunteering at the sporting event called Ironman and a photo shoot for the Study Queensland. My favourite was having a free barbecue on the Esplanade with my fellow international students. It was a very enjoyable and great opportunity to socialise with them.

To future students, I would highly recommend Cairns as your study destination; you get to live in paradise and enjoy fantastic tropical weather.

Nita Veasna (Cambodia) - Bachelor of Business, Major in Accounting, James Cook University

Nita Veasna (Cambodia) - Bachelor of Business, Major in Accounting, James Cook University

I was born in Cambodia and I have moved to study in Cairns just over 2 years ago. I used to work as an administrative clerk in hotels. Because I am interested in number and the work I familiar with, I decided to continue my studies in Cairns.

Cairns is good place to study is it’s not really far from home. I enjoy the tropical weather and the fact that it’s not very crowded.

I like walking along the Esplanade, hiking the Red Arrow trails and cycling.

I like most of the activities at the StudentHub if I can find the time to attend. The workshops are always very useful.

Cairns is the place where you enjoy sunshine, relaxing after studying, making friends from many different countries. The locals are friendly people as well.

Diemes Alves Pereira (Brazil) - Cert III Instrumentation and Control, EIM International

Diemes Alves Pereira (Brazil) - Cert III Instrumentation and Control, EIM International

I am Diemes from Brazil. I arrived in Australia in August of 2017 to study English in Brisbane. In Easter of 2018, I went to Cairns for a holiday and loved it!

In January of 2019, I decided to continue my education in tropical Far North Queensland. The course that I do now, Instrumentation and Control, is related to my previous education and career back home.

Cairns is a beautiful and small city with an easy going lifestyle which makes people who live there friendly and relaxed. There are no real traffic jams like you have in the big cities and there are lots of outdoor activities and stunning natural places to visit.

Particularly, I am a big fan of extreme sport and Cairn is the only place in Australia where you can go bungy jumping. Other activities that I love doing in Cairns are: practicing callisthenics, acro-yoga, walking along the Esplanade, riding a motorbike, playing acoustic guitar, barbecuing with friends, hiking and exploring waterfalls and parks. We are lucky to have good options very close to Cairns city.

On the weekend, I like to go to tourist destinations such as Rusty’s markets, Kuranda and organised tours. One of my greatest experiences here was diving and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.

Michelle Temo (Papua New Guinea) - Bachelor of Laws, JCU

Michelle Temo (Papua New Guinea) - Bachelor of Laws, JCU

I’m from the Southern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea but I lived most of my life in the capital – Port Moresby. I come from a very big family and I am the eldest among four. I have lived and studied in Australia based in Cairns since 2014. I arrived in Australia when I was 14 with no family and very few friends that I was in touch with. At first, my transition was very difficult and I often missed home. I missed not only my family but the culture that I have been entrenched in growing up that I carry with me still to this day. But to my great relief, the boarding school that I attend – Peace Lutheran College was extremely diverse in cultural background and I found more PNG students with similar circumstances as mine. After this realisation things became much easier as I started to make friends and began to enjoy the hospitality that Cairns and the locals had to offer.

I found their intent was very genuine and warm and this made my studies and stay in Cairns much more enjoyable and meaningful. I was fortunate enough to be accepted to study at James Cook University after I graduated on 2017. I am pursuing my life long dream in studying to be a lawyer. My Bachelor of Laws degree will be complete in 2022 and I am hoping to live in Australia and practice as a Barrister. I have always been passionate about law and governance coming from PNG where there is much need for stronger compliance of law and promotion of the rule of law particularly in government institutions.

My personal motivation is to support my family especially my younger siblings to give them the same opportunities to education as I have been blessed to receive in Australia.

I enjoy living and studying in Cairns because it is close to my family, considering PNG is only a 1hr and 45mins away. I also appreciate that Cairns is a very prominent tourist destination and there is always something fun to do on my down times. Cairns is also very multicultural and I feel like it is a second home and there is a sting sense of community here. I especially love how there is a great combination of rainforest meets the beaches, meets the city.

Cairns is a great study destination for someone like me who likes nature and loves breathing fresh air and living amongst the tropical rainforest. Although there is a lot of area and between the major suburbs it is very hard to find yourself feeling isolated as there is a deep sense of community and community events happening regularly.

I love to spend time with the family that I have made here and with my friends. I love to go swimming at the swimming holes such as Crystal Cascades and watch movies at the Cinema. I also love a good book and a day at the beach and in Cairns the beaches are only 10 minutes away from JCU.

I have had the pleasure of going on a Student Hub sponsored activity featuring a day on Great Barrier Reef. Although, I have visited the GBR a few times before, every time is always a new and more meaningful experience as I never be able to get bored of snorkelling on the GBR. The great diversity in sea creatures and marine ecosystem is always breathtaking and relaxing. It is great for a break from study stress and it is easily available in Cairns.

I would highly recommend Cairns as a study destination, the classes are small and there is great opportunity to know your lectures on a first name basis. There is always activities available to experience that most people travel thousands of miles to experience and it is all at your front door. The sense of community is unique to Cairns and is genuine.

Sandy Hauser (Germany) - Diploma of Marketing and Communications, EIM International

Sandy Hauser (Germany) - Diploma of Marketing and Communications, EIM International

I am Sandy from Germany and turning 34 in August. When I was 27 I decided to come to Australia on a Work and Travel Visa and after a short amount off time I knew I wasn’t going back to Germany to work as a dental nurse any time soon. I saw my personal growth while I was travelling between Australia, New Zealand and Bali – so I decided to keep going and continue this journey of personal development. Travelling interstate, I always saw Cairns as a base, that’s where I made friendships and where I felt comfortable, and I love the beautiful beaches and the reef at my front door.
After two years of work and travel an couple times coming in and out on a tourist visa, I wanted to look for a new opportunity so I can work on my entrepreneurial side and live in a easy going lifestyle surrounded by happy vibes and beaches. So I decided to study Marketing and Communication.
Cairns is absolutely the best place if you’re not a “big city person” and want to have a study experience I am sure you won’t be get anywhere else. Cairns and surroundings is nothing I have experienced anywhere else in Australia before. It’s the people, the vibe, the weather, the waterfalls and rainforest, the beaches, the reef and the dry dusty parts that always fascinate me. And we have it all closeby. There is so much to do and to see in this area – not to forget the flora and fauna. 
In my free time, I do yoga, beach boot camp and cardio, but I also love healthy food and a great pizza night (out at the beaches). I love networking and connecting with other travellers or entrepreneurial people. That’s why you find me at many workshops and events. But my passion is getting the most of my attention, and that’s my business “See ya in Australia”.
Gonzalo Prado (Chile) - English (intenstive), YouSTUDY

Gonzalo Prado (Chile) - English (intenstive), YouSTUDY

I’m Gonza and I am from Chile and I’m currently studying English at YouSTUDY.

After I finished High School, I dedicated most of my life as a professional motocross rider in Chile. Unfortunately two years ago, when I was training in Los Angeles (USA), doing a preseason to compete in my most important race, I had an accident in which I almost died and I had to finish my sport career.

However, notwithstanding that, I built a motocross track in my home city in Chile, and it’s currently one of the best tracks in my country. I still operate this business. When I completed the track and set up the business, I started to travel, meet new people and enjoy my life after motocross.  

I came to Cairns for English studies not only because I really don’t like big cites, but principally for the weather, the proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the beautiful rainforests. I love nature. I chose to do the intensive course because I want to learn English well and as quickly as possible.

To live here is like living in a paradise; the people are nice, the beaches beautiful, the climate tropical, it’s very multicultural, but still a small city so everything is close! Like many people who come here without knowing anyone, you will have the possibility of making good friendships with people from other countries, enjoying the sun, and swimming in the Esplanade Lagoon just around the corner from school. There are lots of activities that you could do, and many places to visit; such as the many waterfalls, beaches, islands, rainforest, farms, and local museum… If you’ve been thinking about it, just do it and come!

Do you want to volunteer?

The Student Hub welcomes students who want to help by volunteering their time and skills to assist other students. We’re also developing an exciting Internship Program and are happy to assist with finding an internship or volunteer position for you.


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