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Brazil’s Rafael Barty Dextro wins International Student of the Year for English Language Training

Meld Magazine

Tue Oct 14 2014


BY helping other students learn English, Brazil’s Rafael Barty Dextro not only furthered his own language skills, but also made friends from many background and nationalities. In a series of interviews with Victorian International Education Award winners and finalists, Marina Solomon brings you the stories worth celebrating. 


This year’s winner of the Victorian International Awards for English Language Training says he is now confident in conversing in English, and helps other students learn the language.

The winner, Rafael Barty Dextro, from Brazil, recounted when he first arrived in Australia, ” I was scared of everything, but everyone is so friendly and really wants to help you.”

“I now have much more confidence to speak and study. As a volunteer for Conversation Volunteers Australia, I am able to communicate with native speakers outside my comfort zone and visit many places around Victoria,” he said.

Here in Melbourne as part of the Brazilian Government’s Science Without Borders scholarship program at Monash University, Rafael decided to get a head start by enrolling at the institution’s English Language Centre to improve his language skills.

It helped him to step outside his comfort zone and get more involved in the local community.

“So go, be brave, involve yourself with the community, and have fun,” he said.

Apart from his involvement with Conversation Volunteers Australia, Rafael is also part of Monash University’s student ambassador programme. He helps other students learn English.

Looking back on his journey, not only has Rafael enhanced his language skills, he has also made friends from many backgrounds and nationalities.

“I am a different man thanks to my journey to the Land Down Under and to every single person that I have met here,” he said.

Other finalists

Nabsiri Doungsuwan, Thailand
English Studies – Academia International

Nabsiri came to Australia to improve her English. She chose Melbourne for its reputation of providing a good education system. Nabsiri believes having a social life outside of the classroom helps her learn new things, and loves to communicate with people. She has set her sights on a Marketing degree once she completes her current course.

Zafeirios Karagkounis, Greece
English Studies – Academia International

Studying English has helped Zafeirios become a part of a strong international community. He believes interacting with people of diverse backgrounds and nationalities has enhanced his international student experience, and helped him to understand various of cultures and traditions. When not in the classroom, Zafeirios usually spends his time involved in various student activities and sharing his culture with fellow students.

The Victorian International Educational Awards (VIEA) is an awards ceremony that celebrates leaders in Victoria’s international sector, highlighting the achievements of both institutions and international students furthering their education from Victoria’s highly spoken of education services.