CITSA provides support for international students through:
- English Conversation Groups every 2nd Wednesday at CIT Reid
- The International Students Canberra Facebook Group
- Involvement with the Council of International Students In Australia (CISA)
- Monthly International Students newsletter.
- Management of CIT Accommodation
- Participation in World Cultural Diversity Day
- And much much more…
My name is Sengsuly Phimmasone or Seng from Lao PDR. I’m an international student who is studying a Diploma of Community Service at CIT Bruce. I came to Australia in early January 2019. In December 2019 I completed a Certificate IV in Community Development and this is my second year of study at CIT.
Unfortunately during this time, it seems to be terrible for all international students who are studying in Australia and around the world due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As an international student, I found that this serious pandemic directly impacts me including my education, employment, social participation and health. I couldn’t attend normal classes and I’ve had to study online. However, online study might not be as efficient or effective like face to face classes for vocational education students. Online study lacks human interaction, some international students may have doubts as English is their second language and it might impact on motivation. Importantly, vocational study focuses on practices in real situations rather than theory. I and other students who are studying community services need to work 120 hours placement. This is essential for all students to apply what we have learnt from our classes to real situations in the workplace. Furthermore, I realise that the coronavirus impacts on all businesses and many are pausing during this time. As a result, I’ve had to stop working.
It also impacts on social participation. I have to practice social distancing and self-isolation. I can’t hang out with my friends or participate in parties. However, the best way to keep connecting with my family and friends is social media, usually, I use Facebook and WhatsApp to communicate.
The Covid-19 pandemic effects the health of all international students, particularly, mental health such as stress and anxiety. Sometimes staying in my room all day makes me feel bored and stressed, so in order to release stress what I do regularly is meditation. I meditate around five minutes every day. Personally, I feel that this approach is useful during this tough time. Another activity I do is walking and listening to music. After 5:00pm I go for a walk in a close by nature reserve in my area for 1 hour. Nevertheless, each student might have different methods in managing their stress during this unexpected time.
Thus, from my perspective as an international student who is studying in Australia, I feel that this covid-19 pandemic creates various barriers and limited opportunities for us. However, if we’re unable to avoid it, we should accept it and adapt to live with it. I strongly believe that everything will return back to normal in near future.