Dear Phil, Angela, and colleagues at StudyPerth,
I hope it is still not too late to express my most profound appreciation for the wonderful Chinese New Year lunch and celebration activities you kindly organised for WA-based international students on Friday, 26 February 2021.
It was a great pleasure for me to attend the event along with some of my students. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the event, from the delicious food and the exciting games to the opportunities to talk with many bright international students pursuing their education in Western Australia. Moreover, as an educator, it was so lovely to see the big smiles on the faces of my students and their new friends. As a former international student and a Chinese national, I know firsthand how your efforts mean to students who could not physically unite with their loved ones during traditional holidays. As a sociologist, I am delighted to point out that the interpersonal and intercultural communications fostered by your great event are likely to have direct positive effects on the mental well-being of the participants.
You would be happy to know that several students have told me how much they enjoyed the event, both on the site and afterwards. In particular, two students sent me written testimonials that I would like to share with you.
Jenny Sun, a second-year science student major in anatomy and human biology, wrote the following passage in an email to me on 4 March 2021.
"I am very grateful to StudyPerth for hosting a fantastic and exciting celebration event on the Lantern Festival day. The games were so engaging and entertaining, and the dishes were so delicious. My friends and I enjoyed ourselves so much. I hope that StudyPerth could host more similar events so that more international students could enjoy and benefit from participating in these events."
Lang Lai, a final-year commerce student major in finance, asked me to pass the following message.
"Thanks a million, I have to say! Despite the fact that I have been in Perth for more than two years, most of my time is spent on my homework and in-school activities. But, for the first time, this party made me feel that even in a foreign country, I can celebrate the New Year lively. It’s not just the food and activities that make me happy, but also meeting some new friends. The only thing that I feel regret is that I did not participate in these activities before! I hope that there will be more such activities in the future, and hope that these activities will enable students of different cultures to have more exchanges."
Like Jenny and Lang, I also hope that StudyPerth will organise more similar events in the future. International students are valuable assets for our state. They do not only directly contribute to our economy but also significantly enrich our culture. Many of those who feel welcomed in Western Australia will undoubtedly become enthusiastic ambassadors of our state after returning to the home countries or moving to another place. We have both practical incentives and moral obligations to improve their educational and life experience in Western Australia. I am so glad that StudyPerth has once again done a commendable job in this area.
Dr Yu Tao
Dual BAs (Peking) MPhil (Cantab.) DPhil (Oxon.)
Senior Lecturer & Coordinator, Chinese Studies
School of Social Sciences