Student Ambassadors 2020

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.
Juan Pablo Ramirez Oviedo (Colombia) – Certificate III in Hospitality, CCEB

Juan Pablo Ramirez Oviedo (Colombia) – Certificate III in Hospitality, CCEB

Juan Pablo Ramirez Oviedo, from Colombia, is only 20 years old, and is currently doing a Certificate III in Hospitality at CCEB Cairns College of English & Business. He wants to go all the way to Diploma in Hospitality.

He’d like to complete a university degree in the future as well and learn a few more languages.

Juan chose Cairns as his study destination because there aren’t too many Spanish speaking people here, compared with cities.

“I highly recommend studying here, because not only is Cairns a paradise in Australia, but also because there are many opportunities for all of us international students to develop and improve themselves and get into Australian culture”.

“You will feel right at home while you are learning English with people from all over the world. I have met beautiful people who made my time the best. Exploring all the marvelous places with them has been one of my favourite pass times in Cairns”.

Fun fact: Juan Pablo won our dance competition at the International Student Party last year.

Nuvia Orellana (Mexico) - English, SPC

Nuvia Orellana (Mexico) - English, SPC

Nuvia Orellana from Mexico is here in Cairns to study Cambridge English at Sun Pacific College (English Language School & Student Accommodation) so that one day she can become an interpreter.

“I chose Cairns because it’s the paradise, I love nature and the hot weather in summer and fresh weather in winter, so Cairns is perfect for me”, she says.

She also loves studying here because “you can practice more English and you don’t find a lot of people speaking your mother tongue compared with other cities”.

In her spare time, she loves to ride her bicycle. Lucky, because that activity is highly recommended right now as a healthy form of exercise while we are in lockdown otherwise.

Avinash Chennuri (India) - Masters in Global Development, JCU

Avinash Chennuri (India) - Masters in Global Development, JCU

Avinash is our first Student Ambassador from India. He’s studying a Masters in Global Development at James Cook University Cairns Campus. His ambition is to become a policymaker and a change agent in development, environment, sustainability, and world peace. He is aspiring to join the United Nations after this course.

About why he chose Cairns to study this degree, he said: “Cairns is a global city. It is very pleasant, calm, and colourful with so many world-renowned places, activities, and places to explore and experience. I chose this city to learn about the environment, climate change, and world politics. Because Australia is the place where you can learn diverse knowledge of politics, international relations of various regions like Asia, and Western. Cairns also has rich indigenous culture and communities that’s one of my interesting areas to explore and learn. It’s a city with world-class facilities but no chaos at all”.

In his spare time, Avi likes to visit the beaches and numerous waterfalls around the place, and getting lost in nature.

Dwi Sugiharti (Indonesia) - PhD Economics, JCU

Dwi Sugiharti (Indonesia) - PhD Economics, JCU

Dwi is from Indonesia and is currently undertaking a PhD on Economics at James Cook University. Her ambition for the future is to be a qualified researcher.

“Before coming to Cairns I had heard that this city is friendly and has similar weather to what we have back home. I think weather contributes much to our quick adjustment in a new environment, especially when you decide to stay long for a PhD program. So I think for me Cairns is a perfect place to go out of my comfort zone while feeling safe and welcomed.”, Dwi says.

In her spare time, Dwi loves to go to the beach, visit Port Douglas and the Tablelands.

Valentina Velez (Colombia) - Diploma of Leadership and Management, CCEB

Valentina Velez (Colombia) - Diploma of Leadership and Management, CCEB

Valentina, is a young professional from Colombia. As an environmental engineer, she has worked on major municipal wastewater projects in Cali.

When Valentina arrived in Australia, she did a Cambridge preparation course, and then decided to continue her studies and complete a Diploma of Leadership and Management at CCEB. After graduation, she’d like to continue working in her field, and help others achieve their goals and dreams.

Valentina loves living Cairns. “Cairns is a relaxing city, there is no rush here. You can be focused on your studies, but at the same time enjoy the beautiful landscapes that surrounds Cairns. Without a doubt, swimming on the Great Barrier Reef, checking out the coral, the giant clams and swimming with turtles are experiences I’ll never forget”.

Jerry Karai (Papua New Guinea) - Business Management, CCEB

Jerry Karai (Papua New Guinea) - Business Management, CCEB

Meet Jerry. Jerry is from Papua New Guinea and is studying Business Management at CCEB.

Jerry studied at YouStudy last year and this is how we met him. He was also our DJ at our International Student Party and we really hope that later in the year all this coronavirus stuff will be behind us so we can host another party like that again!

After completing his studies at YouStudy, he returned home for a few weeks, but he came back this year, to further his education. It is Jerry’s ambition to use his acquired knowledge in the near future to give back to his community and the people he represents. He chose to study in Cairns because its natural beauty and lifestyle appealed to him. Studying away from his home country forces him “to be independent and make the most of what Cairns has to offer”.

What he loves most about Cairns are “the various cultures and unique people, [as Cairns is] a melting pot of diversity and natural magic”. In his spare time, Jerry loves to visit the local bars and play at the open mic nights.

Adriana Meneses (Ecuador) - Diploma of Hospitality Management, TAFE

Adriana Meneses (Ecuador) - Diploma of Hospitality Management, TAFE

Adriana is one of the very few (if not only?) students in Cairns from Ecuador. She was awarded a Destination Australia 2020 scholarship and is currently enrolled at Tropical North Queensland TAFE studying a Diploma of Hospitality Management. After her studies, she would like to combine her previous studies in Trade Marketing, Business and Cultural Promotion to create and develop a “Themed Cafe” based on the Ninth Art (Comics, Manga, Graphic Novels). This Cafe will be influenced by Latin American Music, Emerging Comic/Illustrators and Merchandising.

“Cairns is in some ways similar to my home country Ecuador, in terms of aboriginal culture and ecotourism. Cairns is a great place to study hospitality as it’s a famous touristic destination around the world. I’m glad to have won the scholarship at TAFE. They have industry experience and really help international students to achieve their professional goals”, Adriana said.

“The facilities for international students such as the Student Hub, where I found a lot of useful help to learn about Cairns, make it also attractive to study in Cairns. Secondly, all the culture and arts related to Aboriginal People is amazing here”.

Adriana has been selected to represent international students on the Queensland International Students Advisory Panel (QISAP). This is great news and we believe she will make a great advocate for all students in Cairns

Alice Hua (China) - Sustainable Tourism, CQU

Alice Hua (China) - Sustainable Tourism, CQU

Lei Hua is from China and currently studies Sustainable Tourism at CQUniversity Australia. Her preferred (Aussie) name is Alice. In the future, Alice would like to specialise in wildlife protection in the context of hospitality and tourism.

She says she loves studying in Cairns because she likes “the fresh air, good weather, natural environment, and friendly people here”.

“I think that Cairns can provide me relevant experiences because of my Major as it’s a popular tourism destination. I like travelling and also experiencing new things and activities such as diving”.

“There is also lots of wildlife in Cairns, which will help me to learn how to apply my knowledge to protect sustainable tourism”.

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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