#WEMELD Meets: Samantha Chew
Samantha is the cornerstone of Meld. Creative, talented and full of passion for the team makes her a lovable and amazing leader!
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Samantha and I currently work as the Managing Editor of Meld, Project Coordinator at the Melbourne International Student Conference and Director of Communications at another organisation called Oaktree. As you can tell, my background is primarily in the communications world! At Meld specifically, I handle relationships we have with external stakeholders, oversee the Meld team and create strategy. When I’m not at work, I love taking care of my plant babies, my cat (Sadie) and binge watching true crime documentaries.
Q: Why did you decide to join Meld community?
Back when I was a first-year journalism uni student, I was told that my piece on safe spaces for international students in universities was not a newsworthy enough piece.
Fair enough, so I went to the one organisation where I can make it a newsworthy piece because I felt strongly about it!
Q: What support would you like to see for international students? Is there enough being done right now?
I think there are definitely quite a bit of support for international students out there but there is a lot more work we need to do to ensure these resources reach the international students that need it the most. I would like to see more LGBTQIA+, mental health and proper career development help out there for international students.
Q:What challenges have you faced as an international student in Australia?
My first semester was a very lonely one! There were also times when I had no idea where to seek help or who I can talk to. Specifically, know what my OHSC can cover was a struggle! I now have a strong support system but hate to think what would happen if I didn’t have these people in my life.
Q: Are there any international students that you look up to as role models and why?
There are a ton! I see international students who do amazing things and are so very strong and that inspires me all the time. I think international students by default are very brave and they often have many struggles others aren’t privy to, because of this I love hearing their stories.
Q: Why do you think it’s important to increase the awareness of the challenges that international students are facing?
People often see international students as incredibly privileged, which may be true but they are also incredibly vulnerable. Some see us as a temporary fixture, one that brings economic gain and nothing else. When international students come here, they are often alone and don’t know what their rights are.
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