Issue 9
Monday, 04 November 2019
Charles Darwin University
Painting the way to feeling welcome
Painting the way to feeling welcome

Internationals feeling at home in NT

CDU has run two programs designed to help international students feel more at home in the Northern Territory.  

With the support of the Northern Territory Government’s International Student Wellbeing Grant Program, CDU Global has devised the “People of Darwin Circuit” and “Paint and Create”. 

International Students Support Team Leader, Lynn Hartney said international students could sometimes feel homesick and a bit lost and isolated from their family and friends.

“It adds another layer of stress on top of the study pressures that all students face,” Ms Hartney said 

The International Student Support team is committed to helping students settle into Darwin. 

This semester the team arranged for local business Paint and Create Darwin to run guided painting classes for international students on Friday afternoons. The popular classes helped students to create their own masterpieces. 

Paint and Create Darwin founder and artist, Sophie Bound said guided painting was a mindful experience that helped students let go of stress by giving them something different to think about. 

“It’s a really safe social environment to be in,” she said.

Similarly, the People of Darwin Circuit helped students relax and connect with their peers. The team hosted one-day “crawls” around Darwin, giving students insights into Darwin life and the local environment.

“The students caught up with prominent Darwin people who have made a significant contribution to our community,” Ms Hartney said. 

The students toured mangroves with environmentalist Dr Kristin Metcalf and learned about this special environment. They went to Myilly Point to see tropical architecture and learn how the first few houses of Darwin were built.

Other activities included a talk from celebrity chef Chung Jae Lee over lunch at Little Miss Korea, and a visit to Shoal Bay Waste and Recycling Education Centre to learn about plastics recycling. 

The International Student Support team hopes to run a similar program again next year.