Written by Mina Subesa
One of my goals in life was to be a globally competitive Nurse. With that, I have decided to leave the Philippines temporarily and pursue my studies in Australia.
My plans went smoothly so far, until I stepped out of the plane as I arrived in the country. It was until then when I realised, that to achieve my goal and survive, I would also have to acculturate.
Issues with moving to a different country
Some of the issues that international students have to deal with when moving to a different country include:
- Culture shock
- Language barriers
- Adjusting to a different educational system
These obstacles were totally not on my radar when I initially planned my studies. All I ever thought was that I will study in Australia, pass my subjects, and get that degree.
I was quite overwhelmed with how everything was progressing until I attended the On-Campus Orientation Day in Charles Sturt.
At the end of the Course Orientation, a separate orientation for international students was conducted. There, we were informed of the International Student Support Services led by Catharine Buttsworth, the Bathurst campus international student support officer.
She introduced herself to us as more like a friend that we could talk to instead of an officer whom we had to go through a series of processes to access. That, of course, relieved me and made me think that I was allowed to ask for any kind of help.
Shortly after the orientation, Catharine made a Facebook and Messenger group, which made it much easier for us international students to access support.
The International Student Support Services
At first, I was just using the service by asking about my subject enrolments, fees, and just random questions that I had about Australia and Uni life.
Catharine used to be an international student in Charles Sturt, so she pretty much had answers to everything. I’ve proceeded to visit her office from time to time and catch up with her, and she made me aware that I could utilise the service however I can if I made a request formally.
In my case for instance, as a Bachelor of Nursing student, we had to obtain certification for First Aid courses, and with that, additional fees followed. We’ve also had subsidised dinners, free trips, and quick catch-up meetings with international students from different years and courses. Through the catch-ups, we were able to share our sentiments with peers, network, and learn from each other’s experiences.
Contacting Catharine and the team
If you’re an international student reading this, it’s only natural for you to be anxious and be all over the place for now, but just know that there is a dedicated team that will support you through your studies with Charles Sturt.
The ways that International Student Support Service can be accessed include booking an appointment through your Student Portal, through phone, or even just sending an email to your ISSO with a preferred time for a quick visit to their office.
More information about international student support and what other services they offer can be found in International Student Support Services.
Find the support you need by using the Charles Sturt Support Services Directory.