Laura Ines Acevedo Vargas (Colombia)

Diploma of Leadership and Management, Australian Pacific College

Victoria is a magic place. Studying here is not just about going to the school and attending lectures. A curious mind will find answers in the diversity, festivals, activities, street music and conversations with strangers on the tram. It is a place that has a light which will help you to discover yourself and transform your perspective of the world, it is where the impossible becomes possible.

Laura is currently studying a Diploma of Leadership and Management at the Australian Pacific College. She moved to Melbourne two years ago, and has volunteered and worked with many organisations across the city including the United Spanish Latin American Welfare Centre and the Study Melbourne Hub, where she assists other international students as they prepare their tax returns. Laura is also part of the Be You Be Scene (Stories at the Heart of Change) art project which showcases some of the challenges faced by international students in Victoria.

Christian Labao (Philippines)

Advanced Diploma in Building Design (Architectural), Melbourne Polytechnic

If you would like to progress your career and at the same time make a difference in your chosen field, I believe Victoria is the place for you. The state itself is a hub for change-makers and progressive thinkers. It is a place where like-minded people collaborate to create something that benefits not only themselves but also the community.

Christian is a former Study Melbourne Student Ambassador who is studying an Advanced Diploma in Building Design (Architectural) at Melbourne Polytechnic. During his time in Australia, he has helped numerous other international students settle in Victoria and share their stories with others. He is a volunteer at Refuge of Hope, which works closely with the Latin American community in Melbourne through programs such as the English Conversation Club and a Language Cultural Exchange. As an ambassador, Christian worked with Study Melbourne and AUSTRADE on initiatives aimed at encouraging other Filipino students to study in Victoria.

Junel Tagarino (Philippines)

Diploma of Community Services, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE - Moorabbin

It is undeniable that at some point you will feel homesick, but considering that Melbourne is a multicultural society, there are lots of international students who are experiencing the same situation as you, and they can help you find your niche in society.

Junel is completing a Diploma of Community Services at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE. Being an international student in Victoria has provided him with many opportunities to volunteer and engage with the local community and he currently volunteers at the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. Through these experiences and his study, Junel hopes to work in an international organization that provides humanitarian support to marginalized groups, particularly in his home country of the Philippines. He has also participated in many student orientations aimed at supporting other newly-arrived international students and is happy to share his experiences of studying in Victoria with other aspiring students.

Hyunju An (Korea)

Certificate IV in Patisserie and Diploma in Hospitality Management, William Angliss Institute

The best thing I like about Victoria is the libraries. There are many libraries including many small libraries near your place, and they all offer a different atmosphere. I have such an amazing experience every time I visit each library. There is so much more than books in Victorian libraries, there is music, sewing, conversation groups, history, films, and more.

From psychology to patisserie! Hyunju is currently doing a Certificate IV in Patisserie and a Diploma in Hospitality Management at William Angliss Institute. Having studied psychology in Korea, Hyunju is following her true dream of being a pastry chef and chocolatier and recently moved to Melbourne to help strengthen her professional skills. When she is not studying, Hyunju is actively visiting markets, exhibitions and cafes to learn about Melbourne’s incredible food culture. One of these experiences included the ‘Food Service Exposition’ held at Melbourne’s Convention Centre in June 2019, where she was able to network with some of Australia’s leading pastry chefs.