Student Ambassadors 2021

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.
Cindy Pena (Chile)

Cindy Pena (Chile)

Cindy is studying a Diploma in Business and a Diploma in Leadership and Management at TAFE Queensland Cairns campus.

Cindy says she that the reason she wanted to be a Student Ambassador is that, “I feel I have the potential to be part of this program, plus I can develop myself in skills I want to improve.”

She would like to keep studying in Cairns before retuning home with a Masters Degree in Business.

Cindy says that she is “very adventurous, happy and is a hard worker. I enjoy the little things of life that allow me to live a happy life every day. I have leadership skills that I would like to develop in any opportunity I have in the future.”

Follow Cindy on IG at @rivascindy

Cora Ling (Hong Kong)

Cora Ling (Hong Kong)

Cora is studying an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management. She came to Cairns 3 years ago on a working holiday visa and fell in love with the nature, people and culture of Cairns. She is a scuba diving instructor, Muay Thai devotee and self-confessed tech geek.

Cora volunteered to become a Student Ambassador because, “I’m grateful to be living in a country where it is safe and peaceful and I want to give back to the city that I love, letting people know about my amazing experience of studying in Cairns. Cairns is a beautiful and unique place to live, there are many activities to do, plus it is a small city so it is easy to get to know people and places.”

Follow Cora on IG at @ ling.0g
Dani Rueda Rodriguez (Colombia)

Dani Rueda Rodriguez (Colombia)

Dani is studying a Diploma of Business and Leadership and Management at TAFE Queensland.

Dani says she chose to study in Cairns as “it has many tourist activities amongst nature. As an Environmental Engineer I like to enjoy the natural landscapes, animals and life close to the ocean.”

In recommending Cairns for international students she says, “I think the lifestyle that students can enjoy in Cairns is amazing. It is not difficult to find a nice job or move around the city, the local people are so friendly, and it is easy to make friends of your age and same interests or mindset.”

Follow Dani on IG at @dani_rueda_r

Hamna Moin (Pakistan)

Hamna Moin (Pakistan)

Hamna is studying a Master of Data Science at James Cook University, is a trained public speaker, a yoga and meditation teacher and is trained in martial arts.

She chose Cairns for her studies as “the multicultural food and international flow of tourists make it very exciting and a global city. Cairns is a good place to enjoy nature, it’s easy to get around, easy to make friends and offers a relaxed and productive life here.”

Hamna volunteered to become a Student Ambassador after experiencing the assistance offered to students during the pandemic and wants to be able to help students to feel at home, comfortable and welcome, just as she as experienced at the Cairns Student Hub. She hopes to help make Cairns an even better place for international students.

Follow Hamna on IG at @ hamnamoin

Ira Labadlabad (Phillipines)

Ira Labadlabad (Phillipines)

Ira is studying Early Childhood Education and Care at EIM International.

Ira decided to volunteer as a Student Ambassador so that she could encourage students from her home country to study in Cairns, develop her communication skills and build self-confidence.

She says, “I love studying in Cairns because it has similarities to my own country. I am close to nature (it’s like paradise!), Cairns is not a big city, the weather is similar to home and the living expenses are cheap.”

Follow Ira on IG at @ airah3193

Linda Lai (Taiwan)

Linda Lai (Taiwan)

Linda is studying Commercial Cookery at Cairns College of English and Business.

Linda first came to Cairns on a working holiday, and loved the relaxed lifestyle and friendly people she met that she decided to study here! “Cairns is famous for the Great Barrier Reef and I love the sunny weather here,” she says.

She decided to volunteer as a Student Ambassador in order to meet people from different backgrounds and to grow and learn from others and plans to open her own business when her studies are completed.

Follow Linda on FB at Linda Lai

Marni Quinn (England)

Marni Quinn (England)

Marni is studying a Diploma of Higher Education at James Cook University.

Marni came to Cairns initially for 3 months and “absolutely fell in love with Cairns and decided I want this to be home.” She nominates Fitzroy Island as her favourite place and says “you feel like you’re on a remote island in absolute paradise but you are actually just a short boat ride from the city.”

She chose to become a Student Ambassador as she is “really passionate about Cairns and what it has to offer and I really want to throw myself into university life.”

Follow Marni on IG at @ marni717

Rasil Radhakrishnan Anitha (India)

Rasil Radhakrishnan Anitha (India)

Rasil is studying a Master of Data Science at James Cook University.

When deciding where to study in Australia, Rasil chose Cairns for its tropical environment and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforest. He says that Cairns being a small a city is a big advantage as students like himself can make friends easily and meet up with them regularly. “I feel like I am living in my home town because I meet my friends regularly while in the street or at shopping centres – this is the best part of living in a small city like Cairns.”

Rasil chose to become a Student Ambassador as he likes volunteering and being social (he served 3 years in India’s National Service Scheme. And as his Masters is almost complete, has more time to participate in the Student Ambassador program and attend events.

“Also, I will extend my visa to study further at JCU as I love living in Cairns.”

Follow Rasil on IG at @_atherizz_/

Sena Nakagawa (Japan)

Sena Nakagawa (Japan)

Sena is studying a Bachelor of Business at James Cook University.

Sena has enjoyed living in Cairns for the past two years and decided to volunteer as a Student Ambassador so that she can pass on her knowledge and help other students, like those whom she has met through volunteering at the Cairns Student Hub. She has also volunteered at the iihub and with Aboriginal Art Programs.

She likes the friendliness and relaxed nature of Cairns and says that as it’s a small city, the cost of living is cheaper for international students in share-houses. Sena is inspired by her marketing studies and is looking forward to inspiring other students through talking with them and sharing social media.

Follow Sena on IG at @ sena_12n

Tien Ta (Vietnam)

Tien Ta (Vietnam)

Tien is studying a Bachelor of Nursing Science at James Cook University.

Tien is interested in academic study and is passionate about caring for others and working as a professional in the healthcare sectors. He hopes to become a registered nurse after completing his degree and work in Cairns to gain real practical experience in Australia.

He chose to volunteer as a Student Ambassador as he likes to contribute as much as he can to help new international students feel safe and happy as they settle into Cairns. “As an overseas student, I understand the challenges and difficulties when arriving in Australia which can be overwhelming, and would like to assist with, through the Student Ambassador program.”

“Additionally, as the Vietnamese community in Cairns is small, I would like to become part of a diverse community speaking Vietnamese and English.”

Follow Tien on IG at @ tijan.27

Zara Zhou (China)

Zara Zhou (China)

Zara is studying a Master of Sustainable Tourism Management at CQUniversity.

Zara is a born optimist who is interested in photography, diving, travel and sports like badminton. She’s lived in Cairns for almost two years and enjoys the relaxed lifestyle and friendly people.

She says, “Cairns is a good place to live,, study and work. The cost is affordable,  the environment is beautiful and it is an excellent place for students to focus on their studies. If you like the ocean, Cairns is the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and you can enjoy various activities in this paradise! I hope I can introduce this lovely city to anyone who wants to study in Cairns.”

Follow Zara on IG at @ icezara

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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