StudentAmbassadors

Canberra's world-class institutions and schools attract thousands of students from all over Australia and the world, positively contributing to our city and community. In recognition of this our Student Ambassador program was developed to tell the stories of just some of the exceptional individuals who choose to study here. Studying across school, diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels, volunteering on campus or in the community, these students are our future leaders.

MEET THE 2019 STUDY CANBERRA STUDENT AMBASSADORS

  • Image of Ambassador Amy
    Amy from Taiwan, studying a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at CIT.
  • Image of Ambassador Anna
    Anna from Italy, studying a PhD in Oceanography at UNSW Canberra.
  • Image of Ambassador Arooj
    Arooj from Pakistan, studying a Bachelor of Forensic Science at CIT.
  • Image of Ambassador Atiq
    Atiq from Bangladesh, studying a PhD in Computer Science at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador David
    David from Australia, studying a Bachelor of Accounting at UC.
  • Image of Ambassador Elaine
    Elaine from China, studying a Bachelor of International Relations at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador Ezana
    Ezana from Ethiopia, studying Year 12 at Gungahlin College.
  • Image of Ambassador Jacky
    Jacky from China, studying Year 12 at Canberra College.
  • Image of Ambassador Jessica
    Jessica from China, studying a PhD in Photovoltaic Engineering at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador Josephine
    Josephine from Australia, studying a Masters of Diagnostic Pathology at UC.
  • Image of Ambassador Laura
    Laura from Australia, studying a Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador Lucy
    Lucy from Australia, studying a Bachelor of Nursing at ACU Canberra.
  • Image of Ambassador Maddy
    Maddy from Australia, studying a Bachelor of Political Science at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador Minju
    Minju from Korea, studying a Bachelor of Accounting at UC.
  • Image of Ambassador Omar
    Omar from Australia, studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy at UC.
  • Image of Ambassador Rafi
    Rafi from Bangladesh, studying a PhD in Artificial Intelligence at UNSW Canberra.
  • Image of Ambassador Yuanliang
    Yuanliang from China, studying a Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of International Security Studies at ANU.
  • Image of Ambassador Zahra
    Zahra from Iran, studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at UC.
  • Decorative Image
    Read the Student Ambassador profiles and discover more about studying in Canberra.
  • Decorative Image
    Read the Student Ambassador profiles and discover more about studying in Canberra.

“Canberra is renowned for having advanced research facilities and a vast array of career opportunities, as well as being an inclusive community which
welcomes newcomers. Living and studying in Canberra has helped me develop intellectually and personally as well as gain a bunch of friends, including my dog Yoshi, along the way.” - Josephine from Queensland.

2019 Student Ambassadors

Photo of Amy

AMY

Country: Taiwan
Program: Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Institution: Canberra Institute of Technology

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Studying overseas is an extremely amazing and exciting thing! I wanted to find somewhere where I can create lots of memories, love everything around me and live to the fullest. Being an international student who has lived in a hustle and bustle city for more than 20 years, big cities were not my first option. Given Canberra’s title of ‘the third best city in the world to visit’, because of its landscape, nature, food and events, I assumed it is just right for me to enjoy my student life abroad. Plus, a holiday to Sydney is easy with only three-hours-drive.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

Some of my friends told me a rumour that Canberra is ‘boring’ - they have no idea how much I love Canberra now! Resources are everywhere to help with my study whether on or off campus. Public transport is so convenient for me to commute from accommodation to basically everywhere. A variety of food choices from around the world are here for us. Different kinds of events provide brilliant experiences and memories that you would feel pity if you ever miss them! My top two were the Balloon Spectacular and Floriade! Personally, the best reason to study in Canberra is the natural scenery. Sometimes I still wonder, how can you actually be in a city with such view? From my perspective, Canberra is the place you can get whatever you need, plus whatever you want!

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ANNA

Country: Italy
Program: PhD in Oceanography
Institution: UNSW Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

My choice of Canberra as a place to study was driven by chance. Both my boyfriend and I were looking for PhD opportunities; we wanted to find a city where we could both continue to study in our fields while being able to live together after few years of long distance relationship. My Masters supervisor in Italy proposed I come to UNSW Canberra for a couple of months when I was working on my thesis – while I was here I met my current supervisor and my research group. Then, by chance, my boyfriend found a position for a PhD on an interesting project for him at the same university: we decided that he would apply and I would ask my supervisor for PhD opportunities in the group. It all worked out! We both obtained a scholarship and we started our PhDs together. Here we both have the opportunity to work with top level research groups in our fields while living in a city we both like very much.

Please share why you love studying in Canberra:

The most important reason why I love living in Canberra is the surrounding nature. It is amazing how when you look at the city from above, like from the top of Mount Ainslie or mount Pleasant, you see mostly trees and you almost don’t notice that there are houses hidden everywhere! We don’t have to go to a zoo to see kangaroos; they are all around, and we even have koalas, wallabies, platypuses and all sort of animals at Tidbinbilla. We also have an amazing lake where is so good for a walk or a ride, and also perfect for swimming and kayaking when it’s hot!

Beyond Canberra, with a short drive you can be in all sorts of different environments - bush walking in the woods of the Namadgi National Park; camping next to a wild beach on the coast or skiing on the Snowy Mountains. I find living in Canberra the perfect gateway to explore quite a big portion of this country with short trips in the weekend, which is something I wouldn’t do as often while living in a bigger city.

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A photo of Arooj

AROOJ

Country: Pakistan
Program: Bachelor of Forensic Science
Institution: Canberra Institute of Technology

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Canberra has widely recognized institutions that provide high level education, along with lots of public libraries and an environment that is fantastic for studies.

I belong to very small village of Pakistan and so I am used to living in a peaceful environment which is close to nature. Canberra has all of these qualities, so living and adjusting in Canberra is much easier for me as compared to any other place. One fact I love about Canberra is that it is just two hours away from beach and two hours away from the Snowy Mountain - so whenever life stresses me out I can easily go to these places and spent some quality time over there. In Canberra lots of multicultural festivals are celebrated every year which enables everyone to go and enjoy different foods, music and make friends.

Public transport is well organised in Canberra - it is very easy to get around using the bus services which offer special student rates. In short, Canberra is the best place for living and for studies as well.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

I have lots of memorable experiences, but one will remain in my memory forever.

I used to work in a restaurant when I first arrived in Canberra, and the first Sunday I worked there I finished my shift at 9:30pm and headed to the bus stop. I quickly realised I had missed the last bus to my destination and there were very few people on the road at that time – I was unsure of what to do next. Suddenly I saw bunch of well-dressed girls, ready to go to a party. I explained them the whole situation and asked them to call a taxi for me. They were so helpful - they did not want me to stay waiting for a taxi. Instead, they dropped me at my home and gave me very useful information about public transport and other means of transport in Canberra. This experience along with many others made me realise that people in Canberra are very friendly and helpful.

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Photo of Atiq

ATIQ

Country: Bangladesh
Program: PhD in Computer Science
Institution: Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I moved from Bangladesh to Canberra to pursue Master of Engineering degree at UNSW Canberra. That was one of the most challenging decisions of my life. Before moving to Canberra I knew that it is one of the education cities in Australia. But I didn’t know that the city is so peaceful for living and that life is easy over here. After moving from one of the world’s most highly populated cities (Dhaka, Bangladesh) to one of the best liveable places, my experience of living is totally changed and I decided to continue my study here in Canberra. After finishing my Masters I started a PhD at the Australian National University. The best things that I find living in Canberra are living close to nature, tranquil surroundings, and easy movability by car or bicycle around the city.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

The most positive thing to me is less traffic. Driving a car in Canberra city is probably the world’s easiest I believe. The same is true for riding a bicycle. If you go for a ride around Lake Burley Griffin, you will realize how well designed the city is. The most memorable experience comes to my mind is Canberra’s wildlife specially the Kangaroos. You can meet a Kangaroo, Koala, Wombat, Platypus, rabbit and many other animals at everywhere in Canberra - it's like a huge safari park to me!

Most of all, the study experience in Canberra is world’s number one. The university that I chose is the world’s best for my program. The facilities here for students are many.

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Photo of David

DAVID

Country: Australia (Canberra)
Program: Bachelor of Accounting
Institution: University of Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

It was a simple choice for me to study in Canberra. I grew up here and personally love the peaceful atmosphere of this city and how everything is conveniently close by and within a short drive. I preferred the small-town Canberran vibe over some of the other bigger cities as you can approach everything at your own pace. Studying in such an environment helped me with my studies as well as finding the time to pursue my own hobbies. When I do need some time to relax, I enjoy exploring the nature around Canberra. It’s great to take hikes down in the nature reserves or up the mountains and enjoy the stunning views.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

Getting involved with student societies at university has been the most positive experience of my studies in Canberra. I joined many different societies in my first year of studies to find something I would be interested in. I tried all sorts of sporting, arts and cultural clubs and was able to meet many wonderful friends through attending these events. I was mainly involved with the dance club, where I learnt many different styles of dance and gained a lot of experience performing at events. Student societies are a great place for students to make friends as well as meeting other like-minded people. There are so many opportunities as well to take on leadership roles and is a great experience to learn skills and abilities you might not be able to learn in the classroom.

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Photo of Elaine

ELAINE

Country: China
Program: Bachelor of International Relations
Institution: The Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I have chosen Canberra as a place to study (one of the most correct decisions I have ever made) simply because it is a wonderful city for tertiary learning. To many people like myself, tertiary education is largely about active exploration. The Australian National University (ANU), as one of the top universities in the world, is a cosmopolitan place that has many people putting their efforts into research and exploration that inspires the new generations. In Canberra there is a wide range of cultural and historic sites, including the National War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery; these places allow us to get connected with arts and war history closely, where we can truly engage ourselves in abstract cultures or intangible knowledge. In addition, this education capital offers students the best balance between vividness and calmness - while there are exciting and celebratory events such as Enlighten Canberra and Floriade, places like the National Library of Australia and Lake Burley Griffin provide the peaceful, quiet and relaxing space to explore, to achieve and to reflect on our own goals.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

I want to take this chance to share with you a favourite place of mine – the National Museum of Australia (NMA). Visiting NMA and finishing some of my studies at the cafe in the museum often energise me - I learn some interesting new facts every time I go for a visit, while studying with such beautiful environment is way too motivating and rewarding. My most memorable experience though, was a night at the museum. I was recruited as a member of an international student focus group for the new gallery organised by NMA. In the process, we were asked to talk about our views and discuss the new gallery, which allowed us to get involved in topics from ethnocultural perspective. These opportunities are infusive, which at the same time has symbolic meaning to us, due to the fact that chances like this are completely unique to international students in Canberra.

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Photo of Ezana

EZANA

Country: Ethiopia
Program: Year 12
Institution: Gungahlin College

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Canberra is one of a kind, from the serenity to the opportunities available. It is not busy and compacted like most other cities. The absence of traffic jams and easily accessible public transport helps to get to your classes and to your part time job on time. But one of the most important factors that persuaded me to study in Canberra is the fact that it is one of the safest places to study abroad, and one of Australia’s safest cities.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

For me, the most positive experience I have had in Canberra was how easy it was to settle in - I found Canberra to be a very welcoming place, where a lot people are down to earth. I also really enjoyed the National Multicultural Festival which is an annual event in Canberra. The vibe and the energy at that event was like no other! I spent the day meeting a lot of new people; I tried food from all over the world and enjoyed watching a lot of different performances from all ethnicities.

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Photo of Jacky

JACKY

Country: China
Program: Year 12
Institution: Canberra College

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Canberra is a smaller city with unique culture, countless opportunities and strong diverse communities. Although it might not look like one of the bigger metropolitans, there is plenty to do here and it’s really easy to get to places with short commute times. It is the ideal place for students who want to duck their head down to study. The annual festivals such as Enlighten and National Multicultural Festival are awesome for students wanting to take break from studies - Trust me they are absolutely amazing. I would highly recommend Canberra to everyone as it has been the best experience ever staying here.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

Being a part of the ACT badminton team definitely counts as positive experience. My teammates are from all around the world and they made me feel really welcome when I attended the first training session. Although badminton is not as popular as some other sports in Canberra, my teammates and coaches are full of passion. We are always training hard to trying to improve ourselves. In 2017, I was very lucky to represent the ACT to play U19 National games in Adelaide. Canberra is a great place for sporty people, you can always find yourself a local club or sports team to join and make friends.

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Photo of Jessica

JESSICA

Country: China
Program: PhD in Photovoltaic Engineering
Institution: The Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I chose Canberra primarily for the prestigious Australian National University (ANU). Although I had not seen Canberra before my tertiary study, advice from friends as well as my own research told me Canberra is city which is unique, serene, and insanely beautiful. This meant I had high expectations when I arrived, and I was not disappointed. Canberra is a mix of mature city planning in combination with unbridled natural beauty. The slow-paced life style it brings is a perfect balance to the stressful university schedule. Moreover, the diverse ethnicity brings to the city a unique charm. For 7 years Canberra has been the place where I live and study - and a place that I love - and I do not regret a minute of it!

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

One of my best memories in Canberra was the ANU stargazing event in 2015. The ANU made the Guinness World Record for the ‘Most people stargazing at multiple venues’ - with about 8,000 people across Australia all looking up to the night sky at the same time! I joined the vast amount of people gathered at North Oval. When the blazing oval sports lights were switched off there was no sound for a while despite the large crowd, and everyone stood in awe of the vastness of the Universe. The Milky Way felt infinitely close - It was an enchanted moment.

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Photo of Josephine

JOSEPHINE

Country: Australia (Queensland)
Program: Masters of Diagnostic Pathology
Institution: University of Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Moving from Central Queensland to Canberra to study at the best universities in Australia (and the world!) was the most rewarding and challenging decision I have ever made. I wanted to develop a career in research and Canberra is renowned for having advanced facilities and a vast array of career opportunities. I saw Canberra as being an ideal city for me to build my future in a supportive and inclusive community which encouraged intellectual curiosity and welcomed newcomers. I had only been to Canberra once before, on a school camp, and fell in love with its natural scenery and architecture. Being from a small regional community, Canberra also appealed to me for its range of services and facilities, that are normally only available in big cities, such as great public transport, festivals and community groups. Living and studying in Canberra has helped me develop intellectually and personally as well as gain a bunch of friends, including my dog, Yoshi, along the way.

Please share why you love studying in Canberra:

I have been in Canberra for four years and have had the opportunity to study at three local universities (ANU, ACU and now UC!) and all have been great. The number one reason I love studying in Canberra is because no matter how busy, or stressful your day may be, Canberra has hundreds of beautiful areas that allow you to step out of the busy world and enjoy the serenity that the ‘Bush Capital’ has to offer.

One of my favourite places to unwind after a busy day is the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Whilst living and studying at the Australian National University, I would often wander up to the Gardens to clear my mind. I absolutely adore the rainforest garden and would often walk there when it was raining so that I could imagine I was in a secluded forest. The Gardens are also a great place to grab a nice cup of coffee and read a book whilst taking in stunning views. Even exercising in Canberra is fun, walking my dog, or riding around Lake Burley Griffin is beautiful.

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LAURA

Country: Australia (Tasmania)
Program: Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science
Institution: The Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I have always wanted to study Archaeology and Biological Anthropology which are not offered at my home University in Tasmania. When considering Postgraduate study the Australian National University (ANU) offered exactly what I wanted. Coming from rural Tasmania I really like that Canberra was both quieter and less built-up than many bigger cities, while still having much more entertainment and attractions than my hometown.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

My most memorable experiences while living in Canberra have been attending the many festivals, markets and attractions. From Floriade, the Handmade Markets or the Lifeline Book Fair to seeing Calamity Jane at the Canberra Theatre Centre or the Red Pandas at the National Zoo and Aquarium, Canberra has such a great variety of things to see and do and has more than exceeded my expectations.

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LUCY

Country: Australia (Canberra)
Program: Bachelor of Nursing
Institution: Australian Catholic University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I grew up in Canberra and it is such a unique and special city. I have had many positive experiences here and have had many exciting opportunities as a student. I love studying in Canberra because I am inspired by the progressiveness, ambition and kindness of the people around me, and I am proud to live and study in a city that promotes studying, research and growth. Canberra is also filled with connections to nature, especially places like the National Arboretum and the National Botanic Gardens, making it a great stress-free environment for the most part – but we are still only three hours to Sydney, two hours to the beach and two and a half hours from the snow!

Canberra encompasses unique attributes that you will not find anywhere else. Named one of the best cities in the world to visit, our peaceful capital provides world class education, a strong diverse community and immense employment opportunities.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

One of my most favourite and most memorable experiences in Canberra would be attending The Balloon Spectacular event held every year, which is now part of the Enlighten Festival. As a child I would go every year with my parents and watch the hot air balloons inflate and fly over Lake Burley Griffin as we had breakfast down by the lake at Commonwealth Park. This has remained an annual ritual and I look forward to going again every year.

Canberra is definitely where I call home and I am very grateful for this; our town has a relaxed atmosphere which is perfect for students and I always feel safe and at peace. Usually universities in big cities have too much of a fast paced urban feel. Canberra feels more laid-back in comparison, like you’ve found a hidden gem, and there are all kinds of programs and courses you can study here which shows the diversity and quality of education on offer.

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MADDY

Country: Australia (Canberra)
Program: Bachelor of Political Science
Institution: The Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Studying in Canberra has always been an obvious choice for me. Watching sporting teams like the Canberra Raiders and Canberra United, along with events such as Skyfire and Floriade, have never failed to keep me entertained. Canberra’s academic institutions are also some of the best in the world, with the ANU currently ranked number one in Australia; a standing that I couldn’t possibly ignore when choosing my university preferences.

One of the local’s best kept secrets though, has to be our lack of traffic. You can get from one side of Canberra to the other in just 30 minutes. Travelling in Canberra is made especially effortless with an easy to use bus network and tram system. With incredible friends, family, academic institutions, cultural experiences, and nightlife at my doorstep, how could I have possibly chosen to study anywhere else?

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

One memorable experience that I have had in Canberra is participating in local sport. In 2018 I joined the Ainslie Football Club to play women’s AFL. Despite it being my first year, I was instantly welcomed and embraced by everyone in my team, and the wider community of the club itself. Every week I was encouraged to do my best and be my best at both training and out on the field. The incredible people and sense of community at the Ainslie Football Club are representative of the kind and welcoming qualities that continue to define Canberrans.

Such positive extracurricular experiences have helped me appreciate and love studying in Canberra even more. Recently completing my high school studies with the added friendships, stress relief and thrills from local Canberra sport, improved my focus and enabled me to thoroughly enjoy my final years of schooling.

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MINJU

Country: Korea
Program: Bachelor of Accounting
Institution: University of Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

When I visited University of Canberra (UC), I was surprised how the school valued the balanced growth of students. It had different events, such as cooking class, to keep students nourished and keep track of their studies through one-on-one assessment checking sessions. Moreover, school helped them socialize with the society and fellow students through career workshops and recreational events.

After the school tour, I walked around Lake Ginninderra and I liked the peaceful atmosphere combined with the people who were exercising. I was impressed how people were friendly - they smiled at me when their eyes met mine. These unique features of UC, friendly people and comforting natural environment attracted me to make final decision to study in Canberra.

Please share why you love studying in Canberra:

I love how our professors are courageous and attentive to students. In my previous university experience in the Philippines, professors used to recognise me and appreciate my effort only when I prove it with my grades. However, in my first semester of UC, some professors have appreciated the small things I have done well, such as being prepared for the debates or discussion questions for tutorial class. They were indeed watching closely on my performance and analysing my strengths. Some of them even advised my possible future research topics or research fields if I pursue my master’s degree. They showed their strong faith in me before final grades were released. Those encouragements motivated me to successfully complete my first semester, and I am excited for the studies ahead!

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OMAR

Country: Australia (Canberra)
Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Institution: University of Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

The best thing about Canberra is that it’s so easy to meet and get along with people. This has allowed me to form long-lasting friendships from a population of a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. I always knew university would be daunting, but when I first started everyone was really open and welcoming and this made the transition into university quite smooth. I also love that nature is within an arm’s reach from anywhere in the city, making it a beautiful place to cycle, walk and run amongst many other activities on offer. This has cultivated my personal interest in having a healthy outdoor lifestyle.

Please share why you love studying in Canberra:

I study most effectively in quiet and calm environment which Canberra offers when I need it. I also like studying outside in the fresh air, when I can, and because Canberra has such an open natural landscape, it’s really easy for me to do so. I find that I can set up shop almost anywhere and study. It genuinely helps me focus much more when I’m outside and not clogged in a small room breathing in recycled air. Another reason why I love Canberra is that everything I need is so close - shops, parks, and libraries are always within a walking distance. World-class facilities like the National Library of Australia and the National Archives provide valuable information and an extensive record of literature useful for my research.

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RAFI

Country: Bangladesh
Program: PhD in Artificial Intelligence
Institution: University of New South Wales, Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

After completing my Masters from Germany, I was looking forward to start my PhD in Australia. Once I started searching for opportunities, the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) Campus of UNSW seemed like a perfect place. The School of Engineering and IT in ADFA conducts space-edge research, and luckily, I could match my interests with a potential supervisor. Then I looked up Canberra as a potential place to spend three important years of my life, and I was amazed to learn about Australia’s capital. The planned city looked picturesque and vibrant, the Google searches and Wikipedia entries returned positive vibes. I asked some of my friends living and studying in Canberra, and all of them highly recommended Canberra as place to live and study. As an outdoor lover, I was tempted by the proximity to nature as well. All of these facilitated my decision, and I landed in Canberra on a fine October afternoon.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

After arriving in Canberra, I joined weekend bicycle rides with a local group. I was welcomed with warm enthusiasm, and I made some good friends. The social aspects of these rides are second to none - the coffee, the banter, and the (fairly!) occasional roadside philosophical revelations. Last November, I cycled from Canberra to Charlotte Pass and back to Canberra- that’s about 450 kilometres, in three consecutive days. This was part of an event to raise funds for a local charity that provides services to people with disabilities. I helped my team raise more than $25,000 for this great cause. This was an event that I will remember for a lifetime.

I love studying in Canberra because it provides me with options. I can go to the university with by bike, on the bus, or take my car - it doesn’t take more than 30 minutes! I live in a modern apartment yet look outside my window and see the trails of Mount Majura beckoning. It is a safe city, people here are always smiling, and if you are passionate you will always find something to be busy at. Canberra, truly, is one of a kind!

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YUANLIANG

Country: China (Raised in Melbourne, Victoria)
Program: Bachelor of Commerce / Bachelor of International Security Studies
Institution: The Australian National University

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

Canberra appeals to me as a place to study due to the abundance of opportunities it offers. As a result of its prestigious reputation locally and internationally, ANU is very well recognised internationally and this has enabled me to go on exchanges to South Korea, Beijing, Taipei, Japan and Hong Kong for both work and study programs. Canberra is also an ideal location if you are looking to develop your expertise in the public sector, and the internship and graduate opportunities are plentiful. As a smaller city, you’ll be more connected to your fellow student cohort on campus, especially in the first two years of your studies where you are likely to be living in college dorms. Some of my best friends and memories in Canberra has come as a result of living on dorms and sharing meals together every day. Ultimately, I chose Canberra because I wanted to push my boundaries and see what I can achieve in a place far from home where I didn’t know anybody.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

I think like most students, some of my best times in Canberra have been had when I was living on campus. I still vividly remember coming to Canberra as a new student and feeling so completely lost and alone. It wasn’t long though before the activities on college swept me up in a never-ending ride of fun. I remember meeting some of my best Japanese friends in my first ever potluck on college, where we were encouraged to cook a dish and share it with others. I remember sitting with our senior residents and fellow dorm-mates and just splitting tea and sharing gossip over Tim Tams. I remember cooking and laughing in the big communal kitchens as if we were a huge family. Above all else, I think the best memories I’ve had were shared over food; that kind of closeness with such brilliant people would not have been possible had we not come to Canberra.

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A photo of Zahra

ZAHRA

Country: Iran
Program: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Institution: University of Canberra

Why did you choose Canberra as a place to study?

I came to Canberra to achieve my dream: to study psychology. An education in psychology was and is one of my biggest goals in my life.  Although Canberra has a fairly small population (425,000 people), it accommodates a very rich and diverse community that has provided me an opportunity to know various people with different attitudes and behaviours. Also, living alone and studying in another country and in a calm city brings valuable experiences in my life. I have found Canberra to be a safe place for all people, in different ages; kids, young and elderly, and all nationalities, which is one of the most critical aspects for an international student. Regarding safety, with the cultural diversity and political situation in Canberra, I understood Canberra to be the best city for me to study and live alone.

Please share a memorable experience you have had in Canberra:

Canberra has a pristine nature that is the most enjoyable aspect of the city for me. On the first night of my staying on campus, I saw a group of kangaroos eating the grass outside of my accommodation. I approached them and they were so calm; they were not afraid and allowed me to take some photos. It showed me the human behaviours with the animals in this city are acceptable and respectful because none of the animals seem to be afraid of people, even the small birds. Since my field of study is in psychology, I love studying it in Canberra as it provides opportunities for me to investigate various cases and scenarios to both understand the people, improve my knowledge, and help the people around me.

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