Cristian Moreno will be the International Student Committee (ISC) President for 2021, his pronouns are He/Him and he is studying a Master’s Degree in Geophysics. He spends his day studying, working out at the gym, working for ISC and spending time with his girlfriend.
He has been involved in the Guild since 2019. He states that one of the challenges he has faced while being a part of Guild are the issues surrounding the financial support from Curtin University to international students, in terms of the reduction of University fees.
He hopes to obtain support from the different departments at Guild to solve these issues. His goals are to contribute knowledge and solve global issues from the academic and workforce.
Where is your favourite place to be on campus?
Everywhere at Curtin is beautiful, nonetheless, I would say that I love to spend time working out at the gym. It makes me feel relax, and the facilities are so adequate if you want to concentrate and give your best.
What are your plans after university?
Firstly, I want to find a job as a geophysicist for a multinational company, in which I can show all my capabilities and potential. Secondly, I would like to continue my studies in Data Science. Finally, I would love to see my family again after all this COVID situation improves and marry my girlfriend.
How can the Guild help make university life better?
The Curtin Student Guild can help make university life better, promoting academic, financial, welfare, and extracurricular activities, also advocating important University issues for students, and finally, generating profits for student community through retail, food, beverages and general services.
How and why did you get involved in the Guild?
I joined the International Student Committee in January 2020 because I realised that if you want to change something it is better being a part of the change than waiting for it, but I never imagined being the president. I started this position in June 2020 because the last president had resigned from it, and at that time the international committee consisted of just three people.
For the past six months, I have tried to demonstrate the importance of the international committee through events, workshops, and general supports to international students especially during this challenging period due to the COVID-19. I went up for elections in late 2020, and I was elected by the students as the International President of this committee for 2021.
How do you think you can make a difference this year, and what are you hoping to achieve?
I promised during my candidature to advocate international students, specifically in terms of University fees since I have realised that it is neither fair nor right for the cost we pay as international students, taking in mind that COVID situation is affecting our families and our income, and therefore, it is challenging for us to pay these fees for virtual classes.
My main purpose for this year is to explain this situation to Curtin University executives and persuade as much as I can to achieve a remarkable change in every international students’ life.
What is the most important issue for students today?
From my point of view, the most important issue for international students nowadays is virtual learning. The major population of international students came to Australia to improve their English skills since we have a language barrier and subsequently, to achieve professional goals from the academy. Nevertheless, this experience is jeopardised when your classes are online without having the option to interact with your professors and buddies at University.
How do you see universities adapting to students’ needs in the future?
I think that it is more valuable when you receive a feedback to improve rather than to show all the good things that you are doing. Consequently, I would like to take advantage of this question to point out that the universities are not adapting to students’ needs, they are adapting to an educational market for their welfare. My answer is based on the actions they displayed during this global crisis.
What is your advice for making the most out of the university experience—especially for first years?
My advice for current and future students is to be involved in as many groups as you can, not only from the academic point of view but also extracurricular activities, which will help you to increase your networking and your chance of meeting new friends.
If you could make any changes in the university, what would it be and why?
As I mentioned previously, I would change the International student fees since it is very expensive for the outcome, particularly under COVID circumstances. Financial deficits in the Universities should not cover with massive University fees, when the services being offered do not align.
If you were the Prime minister of Australia for a day, what would you do?
I would support more international students.
This article is part of a Curtin Student Guild interview series that was first published on their website.
Email Cristian on firstname.lastname@example.org
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