24 May 2010

A group of UQ international students are using Facebook, blogs and good old-fashioned advice to help spread the word about studying in Brisbane.

The students are among 30 representatives who were recently inducted as ambassadors by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, and are working as part of the Study Brisbane initiative.

"The program is just wonderful,” said UQ student and second-year ambassador Aleyda Perez, who comes from Colombia.

“I've been able to assist Colombian students as well as other Latin Americans who are considering Brisbane for their language, undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

"I've been mainly sharing information based on my own experience as an international student and I think it really helps because students really like to hear experiences from others. I wish I had this kind of assistance when I was planning to come here.”

Joining Ms Perez are fellow UQ students Matthew Ramsey from the United States, Qing (Rose) Luo and Deqiu (David) Gong from China, Moe Al Kalbani from Oman, Majid Al-otaibi from Saudi Arabia, Annur Abubakar from Singapore and Diem Tran from Vietnam.

Cr Newman said Brisbane's international student ambassadors played an important role in promoting Brisbane as a student destination of choice to others in their home countries.

"Brisbane is a vibrant and multicultural city and I think these ambassadors are the perfect candidates to spread the word," Cr Newman said.

CEO of Brisbane Marketing John Aitken said the group’s work would create a knock-on effect which extended well into the future.

"The ambassador program is all about creating global advocates for Brisbane. As our ambassadors return to their home cities, they may become captains in industry and government which creates strong global connections for Brisbane,” he said.

The ambassadors represent Brisbane's biggest international education markets including China, Korea, India and the USA. Participating students are aged between 22 and 34, and are studying across a range of disciplines including business, nursing, engineering and medicine.

As part of the program, ambassadors are sharing their experiences living and studying in Brisbane through social media and the Study Brisbane website, in addition to participating in media interviews, official delegations and hosting promotional events.

To find out more about the Brisbane International Student Ambassador program and the Study Brisbane initiative, visit www.studybrisbane.com.au.

Media: Maj Coop at UQ International (07 3346 7826, m.coop@uq.edu.au)