2016 CISA National Conference: A student experience
Wajahat Latif. Source: 2016 CISA National Conference
Wajahat Latif is enrolled in the Navitas Professional Year program and is a Department of Education and Training scholarship recipient. Wajahat was selected to be a part of Council of International Student Australia’s (CISA) conference and share his experiences as an international student in Australia.
At the conference, Wajahat was able to apply many of the communication skills he’s learnt during his training with us, and use them to build new networks that will assist in his professional growth. Here is his story…
Wajahat’s conference experience
CISA’s 2016 National Conference was a fantastic and fulfilling experience where I gained international education awareness, knowledge and friends that I would not have had from any other platform. It was humbling to meet delegates from all over the country with different nationalities and cultures, to discuss how to improve international education for current and future students of Australia.
There were also guest speakers from State and Federal governments as well as public and private education, who could all identify with the key issues we face as international students. Some of these included student experience, accommodation, quality of education and job prospects. These topics are particularly close to our hearts as it is the accessibility of these that would have been critical when we decided to leave family and friends to study abroad and potentially migrate. So it was extremely flattering to see that key Australian representatives also recognise this and are actively looking at improving platforms for us to realise our vision and make Australia the world leader in higher education.
During the conference
The first two days consisted of pre-conference sessions held at Charles Darwin University, where I spent an amazing time absorbing the enthusiastic atmosphere, flow of ideas, debates and suggested solutions. It was particularly interesting to see how social innovation can be implemented to break barriers just by tweaking our way of thinking, and working as a diverse but united community. The roundtable sessions were insightful as student representatives, delegates and industry experts share their personal experiences, concerns and how it should be addressed for the wider international student community. It is fantastic to know that CISA is here to carry our individual voices as a whole and represent us at the highest education forums to propose positive strategies for students’ welfare.
We then had two days of conference sessions at Darwin Convention Centre. These sessions provided me with the awareness about my rights in Australia such as being able to access the Fair Work Ombudsman. We were also equipped with an essential toolkit that will help us pursue a successful career in Australia including networking, motivation and motivating others. Being at the initial stages of my career and receiving top tips from experienced industry experts has given me the tools I need in order to enhance my future opportunities.
I am very grateful for this experience and would like to give special thanks to my Equity Scholarship sponsor, Department of Education and Training, and Navitas Professional for this opportunity to attend the 2016 CISA National Conference.