CISA Conference: More Student Stories

As the 2019 Council for International Students (CISA) Conference gets closer, we want to continue to look back at some of the stories from the international students who attended the 2018 CISA Conference in Cairns. Last week we heard from Farzaneh Nafar, and this week, hear from Keone Kelobonye:

Being an international student is certainly the highlight of my life. It is an experience that consists of both bright, jovial moments as well as some of the toughest moments of life, and my stay in Perth over the past four years has epitomised that. Coming from Botswana – a small landlocked country in the heart of the Southern African region, I was most excited about moving to a coastal city, and the ability to take a quick short ride to the beach any day is still a treat for me four years on. The toughest challenge was no doubt being away from family and friends, halfway across the world with no option of dashing home for a few days or long weekend - trips home are few and far between, and they need to be planned in advance! Nonetheless, being an international student in Perth has been and continues to be a platform for immense growth, one that I will surely get out of rich and stronger emotionally, socially and indeed intellectually. I have had a chance to make new friends and see new places, and the 2018 CISA conference in Cairns is the latest episode of both.

I was delighted by the opportunity to attend the CISA conference, but I did not know what to expect as it was my first one. So it was a nice surprise to find that it is such a unique event in so many ways. So much diversity in cultures and nationalities, and yet so much amity, warmth and camaraderie between everyone. You realise how everyone has a unique experience being an international student in Australia, and yet so much similarity and understanding from everyone’s story. The highlight of the conference was our (Study Perth’s) presentation about the life of an international student in Perth – okay maybe I’m biased but it’s still true. Another item that stood out for me was the debate, which was about Artificial Intelligence (AI) replacing the human workforce. I liked the ‘sort-of-informal’ nature of the debate, while still being intellectually stimulating, unraveling pertinent issues of the 21st century.

It was my first time attending a CISA event, but certainly not the last. The experience of new and future international students will surely be smoother and even more exciting than what mine was four years ago, and I am excited to play my part to help all those that chose the incomparable Perth as their new and second home, whether temporarily or permanently – alongside the amazing team at StudyPerth. I look forward to sharing more amazing stories of international students in Perth with the CISA community, and learning more from fellow international students across Australia.


If you are wanting to come along to the 2019 CISA Conference in Perth, registrations can be made here

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In collaboration with governments, educational institutions and stakeholders, StudyPerth provides a leadership role in building the profile of international education in WA and overseas.

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