NSW’s best international students awarded

Media release | 22 September 2017

The state’s best international students and organisations have tonight been awarded at the 2017 NSW International Student Awards - organised by StudyNSW - in recognition of their stellar efforts in community engagement.

Individual award categories covered Vocational Education and Training (VET), Higher Education, Schools, and English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

The International Student Community Engagement Award recognises organisations and groups that help international students connect with NSW communities. This Award has the categories of education provider, and business or community group.

Among the winners are University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) student Linus Faustin from Tanzania who won the Higher Education Award, and Strathfield College Australia student Yam Prasad Dhital of Nepal who took out the VET award.

Minister for Trade and Industry, Niall Blair, congratulated the winners.

“Through these awards the NSW Government acknowledges efforts to support other international students, foster cross-cultural exchanges, help young people at risk, and mentor peers,” Mr Blair said.

“Linus is a wonderful advocate for what Study NSW is achieving. He has taken every opportunity, not only run with it, but gone above and beyond to excel. I hope his story inspires other students, especially those who may be considering studying in NSW.”

In 2016, more than 267,000 international students enrolled to study in NSW.

Through Study NSW the NSW Government aims to ensure international students have a safe and rewarding study experience and establish friendships and community connections while in NSW.

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Winners of the NSW International Student of the Year awards

Vocational Education and Training

Mr Yam Prasad Dhital from Nepal who is studying at Strathfield College.

Yam has been described as a role model for all international students and is engaged in a wide range of activities that are beneficial to the Nepalese community.

He also demonstrated great bravery in December 2016 when Yam risked his life to ensure the safety of a child who was trapped in a fire.

Higher Education

Mr Linus Faustin from Tanzania who is studying at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Linus is passionate about social justice and inclusion and was a key player and facilitator of the ‘Racism. It Stops With me’ campaign at UTS.

He is also involved in a UTS program called Batyr which encourages students to seek help when suffering from mental health issues. He co-founded and now produces the international student channel on Vertigo TV.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

Ms Jingya Kymia Wang from China who is studying at the University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching.

Kymia Wang has been described as “a student extraordinaire and inspirational role model”.

She is committed to helping Chinese students settle in Sydney and reducing the stress involved in adapting to a new, foreign culture.

She created and implemented an English tutorial program called “English Corner” which facilitates connections between Chinese students and local or other international students and creates a safe environment for them to develop an understanding of Australian culture and practice English.


Ms Katherine Pei Kun Qi from China who is studying at Beverly Hills Girls High School.

Katherine Pei Kun is committed to building her leadership skills to make a difference to those around her.

She secured a position on the school’s Student Representative Council where she is able to touch the lives of her peers through mentoring, tutoring, fundraising and leading.

During lunch time Katherine can be found voluntarily tutoring peers in Mathematics and Science with warmth, patience and support. She also supports a range of important school and community initiatives through her participation in volunteering programs.

Winners of the organisational awards

Business/Community Group

The International Hub (University of New England & BUPA).

The objectives of establishing The International Hub is to involve international students, their families and new arrivals into the local Armidale community through a strong focus on health and wellbeing.

The Hub opened in October 2016 and offered services such as an International Women’s support group, free driving lessons, and national day events. As the project grew other activities were offered including swimming classes for women and children, weekly English language lessons for student families, a Positive Parenting program, multicultural day activities and fitness and tennis classes.

The Hub also facilitates UNE students to speak and share their culture and customs with regional primary schools.

Education Provider

Asia Immersion Program (University of Wollongong & Bomaderry High School).

The University of Wollongong and Bomaderry High School deliver the ‘Asia Immersion Program’ across six schools in the Shoalhaven area with the aim of fostering intercultural respect, understanding and communication between regional young Australian and international students from Asia.