As an international student from China, Serena shares how WDP helped her come out of her shell while studying in Australia:

Big Start for My New Life in Melbourne

When I arrived in Australia to study my accounting/business law Master degree, I didn’t participate in activities outside of my University. I was telling myself that I was focusing on my studies, but I just felt really unconfident to go out there and explore different opportunities on my own.

But last year I saw a Community Welcome Dinner event on Facebook that one of my friends shared. We went together and I really enjoyed this experience. The food was delicious and really different, nothing we would normally eat in China. It was the first time I tried so many new dishes. Also, I was impressed how much people shared at the end of the Dinner and how open everyone was. This definitely helped me reflect more about my life and myself.

After this Dinner, I started participating in activities outside of my University’s campus, started volunteering and met so many wonderful people and students from other universities! I think I became more outgoing. Welcome Dinner Project shifted my perspective and attitude. I realised people are friendlier that I thought, they don’t judge you straight away based on your nationality or your level of English. Only after speaking with other participants of the Welcome Dinner Project, I realised how many opportunities for international students there are in Melbourne. Now I recommend this project to all my friends and encourage them to become involved more in what’s happening in the community. Thank you, WDP, for broadening my horizon and giving me new experiences.


international student from China

WDP participant

based in Melbourne, Victoria

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