The Victorian International Education Awards (VIEA) recognises outstanding achievement and excellence in international education in Victoria.

These prestigious awards recognise and celebrate leaders in Victoria’s international education sector and the outstanding achievements of international students.

We are pleased to profile our three finalists in the category of English Language Training, and stay tuned to meet the finalists of the three other student categories.

Winners of the student awards were announced on 9 September 2014 in Melbourne, Victoria. The winner is awarded a scholarship of up to $10,000 for study related expenses at a Victorian educational institution.

Mr Rafael Barty Dextro, Brazil

Before starting the Science Without Borders program at Monash University, Rafael enrolled at the institution’s English Language Centre to improve his language skills.  “I now have much more confidence to speak and study. As a volunteer for Conservation Volunteers Australia I am able to communicate with native speakers outside my comfort zone and visit many places around Victoria. I am a different man thanks to my journey to the Land Down Under and to every single person that I have met here.” Rafael is a student leader and has been part of the university’s student ambassador program.

Ms Nabsiri Doungsuwan, Thailand

Being involved with school excursions and student activities has helped Nabsiri’s English studies at Academia International. “Melbourne has a good education system. I came to Australia to improve my English, and now I have friends from other countries. We have a social life outside of class, it helps me learn new things. Melbourne is such a pleasant city and makes me happy.” With a self-proclaimed love of communicating with people, particularly the many friends she has already made in her first few months in Melbourne, Nabsiri has her sights set on a marketing degree once her current course has been completed.

Mr Zafeirios Karagkounis, Greece

Studying English at Academia International has helped Zafeirios become part of a strong international community. “Interacting with so many people from around the world has enhanced my international student experience. By being in Melbourne, I learned things like Chinese tradition, Spanish food, French systems and the spots for good Japanese food right here.” When he’s not studying, Zafeirios spends his time getting involved in student activities, sharing his culture with fellow students. “I’ve also taught my friends about Greek culture. All these experiences have taught me how we can all live in harmony despite our differences.”