International students make Flinders proud

Flinders University’s international students are punching well above their weight, winning an amazing six of the eight tertiary student categories in this year’s StudyAdelaide International Student Awards, including International Student of the Year for the second year in a row.

Hailing from Italy, China, Zambia and India, the outstanding students were recognised for their distinctive academic achievements and admirable community contributions.

Italian Alessandro Sereni, 28, was named joint International Student of the Year. Mr Sereni is studying a Master in International Development at Flinders University following a six-month exchange he completed at Flinders during his undergraduate degree.

While studying, the community-minded global citizen has volunteered extensively – visiting aged care residents, mentoring students in Flinders University’s Inspire program, and completing a Suicide Alertness For Everyone (safeTALK) qualification.

“The first time I came to Adelaide was in 2012. I lived on campus at Flinders University and had friends from Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Europe,” he says.

“Adelaide is such a multicultural melting pot, and I was inspired to see all these different cultures living together side by side and sharing their experiences. Here I can go to cultural events and festivals, which further drive my passion and global mindset.”

Flinders students won both postgraduate awards, the joint undergraduate award, community engagement award and the artistic achievement award – also taking out high commendations for postgraduate coursework and artistic achievement.

Sebastian Raneskold, Vice-President and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Flinders University said: “We congratulate Alessandro and all of our outstanding international students who have been recognised by these StudyAdelaide awards.

“The high proportion of honours earnt by our international students is testament to the efforts of our University, with their wins reflecting exceptional academic outcomes and valuable contributions they have made, and will continue to make, to our community.”

Flinders University’s strengths in international education have underlined an increase in international enrolments in recent years, and saw the University recognised through a Business SA Export Award last year.

Mr Raneskold says Flinders’ focus on the student experience and preparing them for the future has been instrumental in shaping its growing attractiveness to international students. “This means everything from personal support to empowering students with a global mindset, vigilantly reviewing the courses we offer, and providing quality practicums and placements.”

Flinders’ international students’ 2019 achievements come off the back of last year’s International Student Awards success that saw Himal Kandel win top honour of International Student of the Year and a further five Flinders students take home awards or commendations.

Flinders University winners in the 2019 StudyAdelaide International Student Awards:

Alessandro Sereni
Award: International Student of the year (joint); Academic Postgraduate – Coursework
Nationality: Italian
Master of International Development

Sheela Kumaran
Academic Postgraduate – Research
Nationality: Indian
Course: Doctor of Philosophy

Chenghan Zhang
Award: Academic Excellence Undergraduate (joint)
Nationality: Chinese
Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours)

Hoi Yan (Kitty) Wong
Award: Community Engagement
Nationality: Chinese
Master of Nutrition and Dietetics

Leslie Nachula
Award: Artistic Achievement
Nationality: Zambian
Course: Master of Education (Leadership and Management)

Highly commended students:

Keren Wu
Commendation: Academic Excellence: Postgraduate (Coursework)
Nationality: Chinese
Course: Bachelor of Clinical Sciences/Doctor of Medicine

Meixi Chen
Commendation: Artistic Achievement
Nationality: Chinese
Course: Master of Social Work (Graduate Entry)


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