Harriyadi Irawan: 'Don’t be scared to step outside your comfort zone. There’s so much support here and the experience of studying in Melbourne will be with you forever.' See more videos on the StudyMelbourne YouTube channel.

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Harriyadi's story

Harriyadi Irawan is an inspiring international student. The Indonesian-born Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management graduate has had to overcome financial challenges to become an international student, and has also been celebrated for his passion and drive to excel. In 2015, he was awarded the ‘Most Inspiring International Student of the Year’ by the Council of International Students Australia, and the year before he received the Premier’s Award in the Victorian International Student Awards.

Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships made it possible

‘My parents could not afford to help me study overseas. However, I never stopped dreaming about my goal to have an overseas education and I was lucky to receive one of the Australian Government’s Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships to study in Australia.

Volunteering helps me understand Australian culture

I chose Melbourne for a number of reasons. I knew the city had an outstanding reputation for its quality of education, and I also knew that it was a city focused on international students. Perhaps most importantly, I really liked the fact that Melbourne is home to a huge number of international events every year and has endless opportunities to volunteer or gain internships.’

Harriyadi is a volunteer with the Collingwood Information Centre and Jesuit Social Services, and is a passionate City of Melbourne International Student Ambassador. He points to the volunteer work as one of the best ways to make friends and get a sense of belonging in a new city.

‘I feel so lucky to have chosen Melbourne, and to have had so many great opportunities. The volunteering work has really helped me understand Australian cultures and values, and it has also given me relevant work experience. Through school I got to go all over Victoria and I’ve gained such a deep understanding of my field of study – much more than I would have if my studies had just been focused on the academic aspects.’

Studying in Melbourne was the best decision

For Harriyadi, studying in Melbourne was ‘the best decision’ of his life, and he’s passionate about other international students having as great an experience as he did.

‘When you land here, you’ll soon realise that all the other new international students are stating from the same point as you. It’s up to you to make your experience amazing. For me, what really made a difference was being proactive; talking to as many people as possible, building a network and having fun!’