Ruizhe grew up in the city of Nanjing, the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province. Hustle and bustle were all he knew but not necessarily what he needed. “Deep down, I was a small city person,” he explains. “I longed to find a place that would peacefully let me study and pursue my dream career.”
After a two-day trip to the Northern Territory Ruizhe realised what he was missing out on. Exactly three months later, Ruizhe returned to Australia, this time as an international student. All it took was a week for him to settle in, then, it was time to tackle the most critical task: making new friends. Thankfully, there are plenty of volunteering opportunities for those keen on sparking meaningful connections with like-minded individuals. Ruizhe opted to immerse himself in his new community by working alongside the Australian Red Cross and a community and student-led initiative called Kindness Shake.
“Through these experiences, I learned that connecting with one person is enough to help you build a network,” he says. This is precisely why he worked his way up to becoming a Study NT Student Ambassador, which revolves around promoting his newfound second home as the ultimate study abroad destination, whilst receiving quality personal and professional development from the Northern Territory Government. He wanted to share everything he knew with aspiring international students while soaking in their cultures and broadening his own horizons. Of course, for Ruizhe, getting students to see the Northern Territory as he did was the easiest part of the job.
The Northern Territory is situated in northern-central Australia. It is vast and breath-taking, offering residents and visitors unlimited access to an abundance of natural beauty, indigenous art and culture, cities with all the amenities you’ll need, and sunsets many can confirm are the “most beautiful in the world.”
Ruizhe loves spending his downtime trying new cuisines (the Northern Territory is one of Australia’s most multicultural destinations, and this is reflected in their food), going on long walks, shopping for fresh produce at the markets, carrying out his duties as a loyal volunteer, and exploring the great outdoors with his girlfriend and friends. It’s a lifestyle one would hate bidding farewell to, and thankfully, Ruizhe may never have to, thanks to the fact that the Northern Territory’s economy is growing fast. Employers here offer great opportunities and top working conditions to attract skilled workers looking to master their skills and climb the ladder.
Upon graduating, the Charles Darwin University alum was offered a full-time job by one of the local schools he once volunteered with through the Red Cross. Ruizhe also credits his success to Study NT. “As student ambassadors, we participated in many personal development sessions that taught us to write stand-out resumes, speak publicly and make an impression on employers in a short amount of time,” he says.
Neil from the Philippines reaped the same rewards and realised that anything is possible in a country that wants its residents to succeed, no matter where they come from. “The way that the Northern Territory Government and the community here have embraced us international students makes me incredibly proud that I am here in the Territory, not just studying but living like a local,” says the Commercial Cookery graduate.
Mastering the art of kitchen management can be stressful, but balmy nights and outdoor adventures always come to the rescue. Neil loves to cycle, swim and hang out with his friends at Casuarina Beach once his class days come to a close. Tiwi Islands, Litchfield National Park and Bitter Springs are some of his favourite spots to explore on the weekends as well.
These regular expeditions played a pivotal role in helping Neil balance out the rigours of his studies and the experiential learning opportunities that came with it. Education providers here are typically industry experts themselves, making it incredibly easy for students to apply knowledge well before graduating. The placements they take on as students typically evolve into permanent employment.
Neil received a full-time job offer from the restaurant he worked at while studying. Determined to focus on his programme, he put the offer on hold until he was closer to completion of his studies. Today, he’s proud to be a key employee at the restaurant that gave him his first chance.
Both Ruizhe and Neil’s stories prove that the Territory is open to welcoming international students keen on advancing their talents, relishing new opportunities, settling into a vibrant community, and enjoying life to the fullest in the most affordable and relaxing way.
If this is the life you’re after, click here to learn more about how Study Northern Territory can help you achieve it.