brisbane australia
Arabelle Dominique Madria has many things to smile about in Brisbane, Australia. Source: Arabelle Madria

To many international students, Brisbane, Australia is lesser-known than Melbourne and Sydney. To most visitors, it’s usually a waypoint for those heading to the Sunshine Coast to the north and the Gold Coast to the south. To 22-year-old Filipino Arabelle Dominique Madria, however, it’s her new home “with so much to offer.”

Hailing from the city of smiles, Bacolod City, Philippines, Madria is in Brisbane, Australia to pursue a Diploma in Leadership and Management at Queensford College. She is also one of 40 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors, chosen to tell their real-life Brisbane stories via social media to their network back home. We spoke to Madria to find out more about what exactly the country’s third-largest city has to offer, what’s it like to be chosen as a student ambassador and what her plans are for the future:

Tell us about yourself. Why did you choose to study abroad?

Growing up, I was so dependent on my family and friends back home and I knew that relying on them would take me nowhere. I have big dreams in life, so that made me decide to get out of my comfort zone and explore a world relatively new to me.


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Why did you choose to study in Brisbane, Australia? What do you like most about studying here?

I always found Australia to be a very interesting country and I’ve heard stories that the international student scene here is beyond amazing. What I really love about studying here is that I get to challenge myself and every challenge shapes me into the woman I am meant to become. I have discovered so much about myself; my strengths, my weaknesses and what I am capable of doing. Brisbane is a beautiful city that offers so much. I love the culture and the arts and I am so happy that the scene here is booming!

Tell us about your most memorable time at university/Brisbane

Last April, I was appointed as one of 40 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors. I consider my appointment as my most memorable memory here. I love my country, the Philippines and I am so blessed to represent it!

What are your top recommendations or advice to others planning to study in Australia?

Do not be scared to explore and try new things. Brisbane is a city that has so much to offer and if you just lock yourself up in your own tiny shell, you will surely miss out on a lot!

What are your plans for the future?

For now, I am just focusing on finishing my course and from there, I will see where the wind takes me.