Written by Merna Youhana.
‘I would like to achieve a platform for International students to raise their voice and to make sure they are aware of their rights in Australia.’Diksha Jadwani
International student, Diksha Jadwani, who is studying a Master of IT at La Trobe University, has been elected to the Council of International Students Australia (CISA).
CISA is an organisation for international students to openly and freely advance their position and tackle issues that students may have, to improve their everyday life.
“I started as a volunteer for CISA, an opportunity that I found out about from a friend. Working on projects with them and understanding their vision for students made me want to take this opportunity, so I could do more for the welfare of international students.”
Jadwani’s role as a National Equity Officer focuses on advocating for the welfare of students. She acts as a referral point for staff and students seeking assistance with student equity issues.
“My role is to fight for the equal rights of International students and to advocate for the rights of LGTIQ+ community as well.”
How do you plan to contribute and influence international student issues?
“My aim for this tenure is to make sure people aren’t afraid to accept who they are and accept the diverse culture of gender equality and equity.
“I am planning to have a mental health session for international students. We need to prioritise and address mental health concerns in the international student community, and this session will help ensure they feel supported after leaving their country and studies for life in Australia.”
What would you recommend to future international students who are seeking similar opportunities?
“I would recommend international students get to know their rights and seek areas where we can work for their welfare.”
What do you love about La Trobe?
“The number of opportunities La Trobe has for international students is truly amazing. You can become an International Student Host and there’s so many different clubs available, which gives students the exposure to learn about the different cultures. There are lots of volunteering opportunities for international students too.
“One of my fondest memories in La Trobe so far is when I held an anaconda and koala in my hands at Orientation. I was so scared. I had so much fun and I couldn’t believe that I actually did that.
“My favourite event at La Trobe is the multicultural festival. I truly love the way each nationality shows their tradition. You get to see so many nations united under one roof, it’s truly an amazing experience. I love the appreciation of diversity and how Australia values each tradition and the the things that make each different country unique.”
What are your top three pieces of advice for international students studying in Australia?
- “Do the best you can at this moment and take each day as it comes.
- “Don’t overthink, things have a way of falling in place.
- “Don’t lose your focus and keep in mind your goals and why you came to Australia.”
“Just embrace every opportunity that comes your way, as they say, nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”