2016 Mayor's International Student Ambassadors


This year we had a wonderful group of 14 international students from all over the world - China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, India, South Korea, Nepal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Vietnam - to help us promote the amazing experience of living and studying on the Gold Coast.

Wendy Wen from China

Studying grade 11 at Saint Stephen’s College

“I’m a driven and passionate person in every aspect of my life, with wide interests such as the piano and tennis. I came to the Gold Coast one and a half years ago and I just can’t express how much I love being here! From the culture, to the environment, to the people with great attitudes - everything is so charming here, which further arouses my passion for life. I’m so excited about the opportunities available when living on the Gold Coast. Being selected as an International Ambassador has given me the chance to make the greatest changes to my life and I am thrilled to spread the word about the beauty and charm of the Gold Coast to other students from around the world. The Gold Coast is not only the city where I’m living; it’s also my second home.”

Carolina Gonzalez Cabezas from Colombia

Studying a Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University

“I am living in a place that I call paradise - amazing sandy beaches, some of the best surfing waves in the world, and even the Quicksilver Pro surfing competition can all be found here! Inland, the forested mountains provide the best hiking adventures, random fresh water swims, breathtaking lookouts and many wildlife encounters. Those are just a few hints about life on the Gold Coast, my home for the last 8 months. Being a Gold Coast ambassador, I want to experience every unique activity that makes the Gold Coast a must do destination. I want to show international students around the world a hidden gem located on the east coast of Australia; a place that provides multiple opportunities to study, work, explore and adopt a unique lifestyle full of unforgettable experiences.” 

Mathias Sand Madsen from Denmark

Studying a Master of Finance at Bond University

"First and foremost I chose the Gold Coast because of Bond University. However, after I decided to study at Bond I discovered there is much more to this city than just a great uni. I've been here for two months and I'm already in love. I particularly enjoy playing soccer and learning how to surf. I'm really looking forward to being an ambassador and being able to share my adventures and how great it is to live on the Gold Coast. I’m also excited to get the opportunity to create a valuable international network with the other ambassadors."

Nina Essel from Germany

Studying a Master of International Tourism and Hotel Management at Southern Cross University

“I lived on the Gold Coast a couple of years ago and I am so happy to be back. I absolutely love it here; the friendly people, beautiful scenery, the beaches and mountains, good lifestyle and so many activities to participate in! The Gold Coast became my home and I am very grateful and proud to be one of the International Ambassadors in 2016. It’s such a great opportunity to get involved in new things, get to know the Gold Coast better and make friends from all over the world.”


Avishkar Gole from India

Studying a Master of International Tourism and Hotel Management at Southern Cross University

“Travel and technology are two of my favorite fields of study, so when I decided to pursue a career in tourism and hotel management in Australia I could not think of a better city than the tourism & theme park capital of the country itself. The Gold Coast is the perfect city, not just for tourists but also for international students. It has phenomenal weather, a friendly community that welcomes you like your own family, and easy beach accessibility from any part of the city, which makes it a very conducive atmosphere to student life. As an ambassador I get the chance to spread the word to future international students and friends wanting to study in Australia.”

Babin Joy from India

Studying a Master of Business (Advanced) majoring in sports management at Griffith University

"I'm a sports enthusiast and always love to hang out in a place where there are sports or outdoor activities available. When I arrived here seven months ago, I was unsure about my decision to choose the Gold Coast as my study destination. But after only a few days those thoughts were gone, and I started feeling lucky to be a part of the amazing life the Gold Coast offers. Being an Ambassador, I have a rare opportunity to promote the place I love. It will be my pleasure to expose the hidden secrets that the Gold Coast has waiting for the world." 

Huiming Lin from China

Studying a Juris Doctor at Bond University

“One of the things I have enjoyed while studying here on the Gold Coast has been the connections and friends I have made, both within the Gold Coast Chinese Students and Scholars Associations, but also from the multi-cultural community and the large international student body. Studying here on the Gold Coast is setting me up for the rest of my life with a globally recognized degree, international business contacts and confidence to pursue my career. That’s why I joined the Ambassador program - to promote the Gold Coast as the best place to study and live. Come and join me and many others in calling this paradise home.”

Dennis Kim from South Korea

Studying a Bachelor of Hotel Management and Marketing at Griffith University

“I've lived on the Gold Coast for almost 3 years now, and have fallen in love with the weather, the ocean and the nice people around me. My friends and I have created our own traditions here, like eating and drinking in the outdoors near the ocean. I am so happy to be an Ambassador, and to show the world all the great opportunities and activities available here on the Gold Coast.”

Omraj Gurung from Nepal

Studying an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management at Envirotech College

“I chose the Gold Coast because it is the best destination for international students to further their education. If you are willing to get to know new people and learn about their culture and religion, then the Gold Coast is an amazing place to be. It has a great environment and friendly people and is a really beautiful city with lots of things waiting to be explored. I am excited about gaining more knowledge about the Gold Coast and for all the exciting adventure that is waiting for me.”

Joseph Toh from Singapore

Studying a diploma in building design at TAFE Queensland Gold Coast

“The Gold coast is a destination of dreams and fun; a place where everyone desires to go. An abundance of joy and activity fills the atmosphere. That's what made me chose the Gold Coast. ISA 2016 is a wonderful platform for me to meet and learn from a diverse group of people from many different backgrounds. I'm also excited to have an active interaction with the mayor's office and politicians. It's a great opportunity for me to tap into various expertise and experiences that will assist with my future career. Not forgetting the fun part; I will be exposed to different sorts of activities.”

Amy Nguyen from Vietnam

Studying grade 12 at Helensvale State High School

“I’m a senior high school student and have been studying on the Gold Coast for the last 14 months. It is the beach city vibe and friendly environment that makes the Gold Coast my second home. Living on the Gold Coast has been one of the best experiences of my life so far, and nothing can be more honourable to me than being selected as an ambassador to promote the place that I truly love. I cannot wait to share my journey in this coastal city where international students are fully supported, given great opportunities and encouraged to pursue their goals."


Calvin (Ziheng) Xu from China

Studying a Bachelor of Medical Science at Griffith University

“There are many reasons why I chose the Gold Coast as the place to continue my education. Firstly, the Gold Coast is very metropolitan and international - the diversity in both residents and cultures was very attractive to me. Secondly, the Gold Coast offers world-class education. Universities such as Griffith University offer solid degrees in many fields such as Medicine and Hotel Management. Thirdly, the Gold Coast is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. The bright future of this coastal city offers unimaginable excitement and potential for international students like me.”

Diego Gomez Marcos from Spain

Studying a Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Southern Cross University

“Having arrived on the Gold Coast more than a year ago, I have now integrated into this wonderful city, enjoying the fascinating international student lifestyle, chasing the variety of opportunities the city offers and improving my leadership skills to contribute to my professional career development. The Gold Coast stands for a healthy and sporty lifestyle with a balance between work and leisure time. As a passionate and motivated International Student Ambassador of the Gold Coast, I appreciate this opportunity to spread the word about why the Gold Coast is the best place to study and to begin the life of your dreams.”

Kathleen Di Paolo from Switzerland

Studying a Juris Doctor at Bond University

“I did my undergraduate in International Relations and had the opportunity to work for a year at the Swiss Embassy in Australia. I fell in love with Australia and all of its diversity, and then decided to live my Australian dream and stay here for my postgraduate degree. I moved to the Gold Coast because I wanted to live in a small and cosy city close to the ocean, in order to be able to surf and enjoy warm weather whilst benefiting from a great university program. I can't wait to explore more of what the Gold Coast has to offer to international students, and I am extremely excited about being able to share this experience with 13 other amazing ambassadors.”