More than 160 Deakin University students were recognised for their international engagement and achievements last week at the 2017 Global Citizenship Awards.
The Awards – held at Melbourne’s iconic Federation Square – saw more than 200 guests in attendance to support the recipients, all of whom had participated in the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) at Deakin.
The GCP encourages students to engage in a variety of international programs and activities that help build their skills and confidence to better prepare them for the global workplace. The program rewards students for engaging in international study experiences, participation in internationally-focused units, international internships, volunteering in another country, and many other globally-focused activities.
Deakin Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Mr John Molony told the audience, ‘Students who are undertaking international experiences – the students here tonight – are taking the initiative to do more than simply what the curriculum or course requires. They are adventurous, they are wanting to learn about other cultures, they are stretching themselves, and the benefits that flow from this do not go unnoticed by employers.
‘We see our students coming back [from international experiences] who have an increased awareness of social responsibility and their position in the world,’ Mr Molony continued. ‘We overwhelmingly see students develop in their maturity, that have broadened their perspectives and extended their relationships and have increased tolerance to diversity and civic engagement with the international perspective.
‘All of our Global Citizenship recipients are a very important part of the fabric of our community and what you are doing,’ Mr Molony added. ‘What you have done and what you have achieved and what you may do in the future is something that we are inspired by.’
GCP award recipient Emma Formica shared her experiences – which includes volunteering and fundraising in Zambia and Kenya, promoting Deakin’s volunteering programs to other students, and submitting an internationally-focused project to Deakin SPARK (a program that focuses on building connections between Deakin students and staff with the entrepreneurial community).
‘The experiences I have had through my GCP journey have been fundamental in shaping my identity, both as a prospective social worker and as an individual,’ Ms Formica explained. ‘I have learned resilience, patience, assertiveness, and most importantly how to work in a culturally respectable and safe manner. These skills are all easily transferable to my future career as a social worker.’
‘My GCP journey has been challenging, eye opening, thought provoking and life changing, and it is safe to say that I’ve gained a lot more than I could have ever given.’
GCP award recipient Thanh Dat (Daniel) Nguyen is a leader within the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI), helping new students to transition to Australia and learn English. He has also participated in local volunteering initiatives and is an international student himself.
‘I applied for my first job at Deakin as part of the DUELI Leadership and Internship Program,’ Mr Nguyen explained. ‘And during that time I found myself changed completely.
‘I became a student leader who helps other students to find their confidence and have a better transition into their university life,’ he continued. ‘I found myself participating in an orientation presentation with my director, supervisors and more than 600 students. I also found myself with the SHS awards from the Vice-Chancellor for outstanding contribution to the Deakin Student Community. And most importantly, I found my volunteer students came back to DUELI when they graduated to become the next generation of student leaders.
‘More than everything,’ Mr Nguyen concluded, ‘I feel like I actually live my life here, not just to travel to other country.’
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.