2021 StudyAdelaide International Student Awards
Content in this article was originally published on the StudyAdelaide website.
The University of Adelaide proudly congratulates our international students who were acknowledged at the 2021 StudyAdelaide International Student Awards on 14 October.
The StudyAdelaide International Student Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of international students. StudyAdelaide’s International Student Awards are endorsed by Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia.
The awards are an opportunity for the international community, academic institutions, local community and businesses to honour the achievements of international students during their time in Adelaide. The award program, now in its eleventh year, is highly regarded and a valuable addition to the winning students’ resumes.
The University of Adelaide's winners and commendations can be found below.
The winners of the 2021 community engagement category have given tirelessly of their time and energy to help fellow international students and the wider Adelaide community.
Winner: Jia En Sit from Malaysia
Studying: Bachelor of Food and Nutrition Science.
Jia En spends an incredible number of hours volunteering to help international students enhance their social and academic success.
As an international peer mentor (IPM), she helps students settle into life in Adelaide. To enhance students’ social and cultural experiences, Jia En volunteers with Adelaide University Sports running lunchtime sporting activities for all university students to join. She also volunteers in a language and cultural engagement program.
As the international student office on her university’s student council, Jia En strongly advocates for international student voices. She ran an international student forum to allow peers to raise issues and bond as a community.
Jia En says one of her greatest achievements in volunteering was when she presented an idea to cook 40 meals for students in need last Christmas. The initiative ran through the Adelaide University Malaysian Student’s Association (AUMSA), where Jia En volunteers as the Welfare Director.
Despite many hours spent volunteering, Jia En balances her studies and achieves outstanding results, with high distinctions in all subjects.
Highly Commended: Kavita Bhandari from India
Studying: Master of Construction Management.
Kavita is a firm believer in helping people and volunteered in many activities to help the community. Her work with Hindu Youth of Australia included launching food and blanket drives during the first wave of COVID-19. She also volunteers as a retail assistant at the Red Cross and performed at a charity event, raising $13,000 to help COVID-stricken countries buy emergency equipment.
At university, Kavita supports her fellow students by volunteering as an international peer mentor, careers service ambassador, and ambassador for student health and well-being services.
Kavita has given back to the Adelaide community in many ways and says, ‘Community service has been my way of practising gratitude and mindfulness for the life I am given.’
Highly Commended: Aparna Nithyanand from India
Studying: Master of Engineering (Mechanical).
Aparna has volunteered with the Adelaide University Rotaract Club since 2020, organising and participating in many community events and activities. Aparna’s volunteering roles and experiences are varied and include tree planting events, fundraising BBQs, cultural festivals, and Trash Hero clean ups, to name a few.
As the stage manager for the club’s Cultural Night 2021, South Australia’s largest youth-led multicultural event, Aparna managed many performers from diverse cultural community groups as they raised money for the No Barriers Education Foundation Inc.
As part of her volunteering work, Aparna has always encouraged others to get involved and helps other young people, especially international students, connect with their communities and build local networks through volunteering.
The winners in this year’s undergraduate category have worked hard to maintain excellent academic results while volunteering to help their fellow students and to inspire future generations of undergraduates in their respective fields.
Highly Commended: Sultan Al-Hammadi from Oman
Studying: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Electrical and Electronic).
Growing up, Sultan spent a lot of time going out to the field with their big brother, an electrical engineer. Sultan also read many books about electrical systems and machines and developed a keen interest in learning programming languages. At 16, Sultan used Java to build a robot that could follow a black line autonomously.
After achieving top marks, Sultan was awarded a full scholarship from Petroleum Development Oman to study electrical engineering in Adelaide. Encouraged to work hard, Sultan achieved high distinctions in all courses and has won many academic awards, including the Executive Dean’s Recognition of Academic Excellence three years in a row.
Sultan has volunteered in many university activities, including being a student representative for their school, helping refugee families and promoting engineering and science to high school girls as part of the Robogals club.