Life as an international student – pivotal conversations held during social events

Life as an international student – pivotal conversations held during social events

A newly formed Peer Support team is lending a supportive ear to international students whilst introducing them to the best of Melbourne.

RMIT has recently launched its Wellbeing Peer Support Program, to support international students through their transition to life in a new country.

The program consists of two streams led by our Peer Support team of current international students: social excursions and events, and one-on-one personalised wellbeing chats; giving students the opportunity to participate in sessions that suit their needs best.

Diving into the program 

Events within the program combine socialising and exploring Melbourne with relaxed discussions about life as an international student, de-stigmatising mental health and looking after wellbeing.

In a recent outing, students roamed the Queen Victoria Market while exchanging thoughts and feelings on adjusting to a new culture and of being away from home.  

Anjali Sarda, an international student studying a Master of Arts Management, said that participating in the program made her feel more comfortable knowing she wasn’t alone. 

We are all going through the same experience. We may be homesick, we sometimes feel lonely, but I think it’s nice to get out there, meet people and have the chance to express your feelings
a group of international students smiling toward camera at the Victorian night market International students enjoying their time at the Queen Victoria Night Market event

Students in search of a more private conversation can also book one-on-one appointments about their wellbeing.  

Appointments are held over the phone, or through drop-in sessions at the City campus.

Peer Support Leader and current RMIT international student, Arya Pawar explained what these chats entail.

“The program provides a safe space for international students to talk about their wellbeing, we can catch up over some free coffee, go for a walk or play some fun games!”

Guiding students along their journey and being an extra support system for them is the ultimate goal for the Peer Support Team.

Paula Madruga said that she would like all international students to know they’re here as a support system and to lend a listening ear.

We’ve got your back and if you feel like you’ll benefit from having a chat with someone or receiving any kind of support, we’re here for you
Peer Support Team Paula Madruga (left) and Arya Pawar (right) Peer Support Team Paula Madruga (left) and Arya Pawar (right)

RMIT international students can find out more and sign up for events via the Wellbeing Peer Support Program – for international students webpage. The next sessions will run throughout August 2022.

RMIT international students can find out more and sign up for one-on-one chats via the 1-on-1 Wellbeing Chats for International Students webpage. Students can book an appointment or attend a drop-in session that runs every Tuesday from 11am-3pm.  

The Wellbeing Peer Support Program - for international students has been made possible by funding from the Victorian Government through Study Melbourne.

Orygen logo - Wellbeing Peer Mentoring Program Vic Market

This initiative is being delivered in partnership with Orygen. Orygen is a youth mental health organisation with expertise in research, policy, education and innovations in care. Since 1984, Orygen has been working side-by-side with young people to reduce the impact that mental ill-health has on young people, their families and society.

18 July 2022

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.