Cherie Lai (Hong Kong)

Why did you choose JCU?

I chose JCU because of its location in North Queensland, the home of The Strand (right beside the Greater Barrier Reef!), and the beautiful views from the top of Castle Hill. I knew how different it would be compared to the city hustle where I’m from, but I’d still be able to enjoy the world-class education and most of the necessities within my reach! All of the reasons are why I chose to study a Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) at JCU.

What has been the highlight of your JCU experience?

The highlight of my experience as an international student is definitely the wide diversity of community services I am eligible to access and encouraged to use. These include participating in community events including the Full Moon Drum Circle and Townsville Cultural Festival. Another highlight has been learning about how mental well-being is encouraged in society and there are a lot of activities and services dedicated to caring for people’s mental health.

Cherie Lai with JCU's Vice Chancellor Simon Biggs at the International Completion Ceremony June 2022.

What are your plans for the next few years now that you have completed your studies?

I am mind-blown by how accessible mental health services are, and how open the culture is to discuss mental health issues, gender equality, inclusivity, and diversity. This experience has inspired me to work in the industry and bring home the new mindset I have gained here in Australia to help encourage my peers back home to put their well-being in the centre and seek support without self-stigma.

Would you like to share any advice with prospective international students considering JCU?

I believe my experience is only the tip of the iceberg of what Australia has to offer. If you are considering joining our JCU community, I can assure you of the unique experience you’ll be able to get and the knowledge you’ll be able to obtain with so much support here. Good luck and see you soon!