Deakin’s Rod Zhang named International Student of the Year (Regional)

Deakin is proud to announce that Bachelor of Occupational Therapy student Luocheng (Rod) Zhang has been named International Student of the Year (Regional) at the 2019 Victorian International Education Awards.

This is an incredible recognition not only of Rod’s academic achievements, but of the valuable contributions he has made to the community while studying at Deakin.

Rod is extremely pleased and honoured to have received the award.

‘I take pride of the recognition of my efforts and contributions. The sense of belonging of an international student has been greatly reinforced and I will take this opportunity to further speak for international students and make contributions to the communities locally and globally,’ he said.

Since arriving in Australia, Rod has immersed himself in his local community through volunteer roles at the local kindergarten, a rehabilitation centre and an organization that facilitates social activities for people with intellectual disabilities. Knowing the challenges that come with being an international student, Rod participates in Deakin’s Students Helping Students program. In September, Rod also received a Deakin Students Helping Students award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to this program.

‘Being involved in the communities both at campus and outside the campus has given me a great sense of pride and identity. I have got the chance to meet the local people, understand Australian cultures, values and the meaning of inclusion. Participating in community activities continually improves my English, confidence and builds my professional skills,’ Rod said.

 Rod has also established a successful Wechat-based social media platform aimed at providing support and networking opportunities for Chinese students studying occupational therapy around the world.

‘We are so proud of Rod as he has shown the great talent and drive that many of International students have when they first study English at Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI) and then go on to be successful at university,’ said Ben Stubbs, Director of the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI).

The annual Victorian International Education Awards (VIEAs) are an initiative of the Victorian Government that reward outstanding achievement and excellence among students, education providers and other organisations involved in international education in the State of Victoria.

Deakin was well represented across several award categories. Nominated alongside Rod for International Student of the Year (Regional) were Chirag Karnawat from India, Jasmine Shaikh from India and Ahmed Nada from Canada. Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Commerce student Joshua Cook was nominated for Victorian Student of the Year – Internationalisation, and former Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting and Finance student Shriya Gupta was an International Alumnus of the Year finalist.

Deakin students Joshua Cook (Victorian Student of the Year – Internationalisation nominee), Chirag Karnawat (International Student of the Year (Regional) nominee) and Rod Zhang (International Student of the Year (Regional) winner).

‘Having so many Deakin students and alumni nominated this year, it really reflects the great quality of students we have studying at Deakin. They are also wonderful examples of the really valuable contributions our international and Australian students make when they become engaged with the different communities around the world,’ said Mr Stubbs.      

Rod said he was proud to be a Deakin University student, and grateful for the many ways Deakin has supported him.

‘Deakin has provided a range of facilities and services to help me get the most of my university life. The dedicated and expert team of International Student advisors is always behind me. Most importantly, Deakin creates an atmosphere to inspire and educate the next generation by modelling leaders.’

For information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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