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Docklander - Dec 17/Jan 18

05 Dec 2017

Docklander - Dec 17/Jan 18 Image

Engage with the student community

By Sunny Liu

New Docklander Angie Li has some bright ideas on how international students could be part of the local Docklands community.

“International graduates in Australia have two missions, to get employed and to adjust to the local community,” she said.

“International students are an inseparable part of the community if the two goals are achieved.”

She is an active player in the international student community in Melbourne, having co-founded the International Student Careers Association with some university friends and been the international department director at Melbourne University’s student union.

The NewQuay apartment tower where Ms Li lives is a multicultural hub in itself.

“I see so many different faces everyday at the apartment. But sometimes it can be challenging to interact with them in a high-rise apartment environment,” she said.

She said people from various cultural backgrounds make Docklands their home and the best way to converge them would be through a trusted local information channel (such as Docklands News!) and community activities.

“People need to be informed of what’s going on in their local area,” she said.

“I think language can often be the barrier when people first arrive in Australia. But after their English improves, it’s not just about the language, but also the places they visit and their understanding of the local culture.”

Ms Li thinks having an open mind and a willingness to ask questions is the key.

“It’s important to be curious about new things and just talk to people if you don’t understand something,” she said.

“Quite often international students need to push themselves and talk about their difficulties to improve,” Ms Li said.

The International Student Careers Association invites industry professionals to workshops with international students and share their experiences of landing on their feet in a career.

Upon graduating from the University of Melbourne, Ms Li was offered a full-time job at a Docklands-based superannuation company.

Even though she is both working and living in Docklands and always trying out Docklands’ restaurants, she said her life was not just confined to this area.

She volunteers with the City of Melbourne’s visitor information kiosk at Southern Cross Station every other Sunday, when she guides visitors to explore many photogenic spots in Docklands and the CBD.

Despite being still relatively new to Docklands, she said she had no problem settling down into the waterfront living environment.

Ms Li was apartment hunting with her friend and was impressed with the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to the harbour at the NewQuay unit she is now renting.

She said, compared with the Southbank apartment she lived in before, Docklands had a much more relaxing lifestyle.

“Southbank was always so busy with so many tourists and so much noise. But Docklands is very peaceful. My apartment has an amazing view and sometimes my friends come over just to take photos,” Ms Li said.

Ms Li said Docklands’ convenient location makes it easier for her to engage in networking and community events after work.

“Living here means I can sleep till 8am each morning and still have plenty of time before I go to work,” she said.

“And after I finish work I would go into the CBD to meet friends, organise events or have people over. So every day is planned out well.”

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