Brisbane-based Filipino international student Ralph Teodoro hails from the United Arab Emirates. He currently holds multiple student leadership positions. He was recently awarded the Undergraduate International Student of the Year accolade by the Council of International Students Australia, is currently the Vice President of the organisation and was a finalist for the Queensland Multicultural Awards for the category of Outstanding Young Achiever. His time, commitment and passion for the international education sector, stems from his hopes of enhancing the international student experience in Australia.
Looking back at my time in Brisbane so far, my experience in this city as an international student ambassador, mentor, and leader above all, comes with the lesson of: “all good things come with time, patience, commitment, dedication, and hard work”. A mantra that the international student community in Queensland has always been, and will always be, ever so vocal about.
From the day I arrived through to now, I’ve learned quite a few lessons and I’ve had an amazing array of experiences to share with my friends, family and colleagues whenever there’s a cold one to pop! A few of those lessons revolve around resiliency, adulthood, free-spiritedness, and the can-do, be more proactive sort of experience. On that note, the most meaningful takeaway of my Queensland experience is the ability to hone the trait of genuine generosity; or the art of giving.
I’ve learned these lessons through the countless hours I’ve spent just giving back to the international student community, the refugees, asylum seekers, temporary migrant community, and the elderly community, amongst other minorities in Queensland. I’ve absolutely loved every single minute of it with or without monetary gain, because I feel like I’ve started to value and appreciate the true meaning of being a “global citizen”; and that experience is truly irreplaceable.
My tips for living big in Brisbane as an international student:
- Be resilient! Easier said than done, I know. But, you’ll never know who you really are, until you test yourself! You never know, you might end up wanting to be a social media influencer or something greater, and you’re doing a degree in biochemistry (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Get up, get out, experience, fail and rise up.
- Network! Create a network of friends from different cultural communities, industries, organisations, universities, or clubs. This not only diversifies your Australian cultural experience, but if you ever want to travel to another country or learn a new language - you’ve just made a valuable connection.
- Know the party spots! If you’re like me and you like having a fun breather every now and then, know where to go on a Friday night (Eagle Street area), Saturday night (the Valley), or even where the usual open mics/concerts are held! Trust me, a little fun never hurt nobody.
- Keep yourself updated! Stay up to date on the events and happenings around the city, or state, through the local social media pages (including Study Queensland’s), there’s bound to be something to tickle your fancy. There’s a lot of things that go on in Brisbane, you just must filter through all those useless ads sometimes.
- Lastly, don’t forget to live, however or whatever you do, just remember that a few months ago, you were a different you.
At the end of the day, you’ll learn that time flies during your stay. So, stay curious and be positive. With eyes to the skies, starting here can take you anywhere. #StudyQueensland