Our International Alumni

Box Hill Institute has an ambassador program for International students. We have ambassadors from a range of countries throughout the world, who represent the numerous cultural backgrounds amongst our many future, current and past students.

Teodor Mircevski

North Macedonia

I am Teodor. I am from North Macedonia, a small country in Southeast Europe. My entire life, I have been devoted to sport, particularly soccer (football), and thanks to the TAFE program, Sport Development at Box Hill Institute, I am able to accomplish my dream of a professional career in the future.

When I think about Box Hill Institute, the first thing that comes to my mind is my 2019 trip to Australia when I got the chance to visit what was going to be my future school. When I met the professors and saw the premises, my final decision was made. I was blown away by the educational system overall in Australia. Box Hill Institute offers many courses that are based on hands-on activities that help develop practical skills using the latest innovative techniques and equipment. Teamwork and sharing knowledge are the institute’s strongest assets, too.

The enrolment procedure and the Visa procedure were very simple and after six months, I became a part of the institute, learning practical methods in sport coaching. I felt really welcomed by the teachers and the classmates. Overall, the staff from Box Hill Institute created a really friendly and pleasant study atmosphere. Thanks to teachers’ engagement, I became more focused on accomplishing my goals and got over every obstacle to my learning.

At first, I was sceptical about making such a big step in my life. I wasn’t sure about how the people were going to accept me, but in the end, I was surprised by how openminded and generous the people were there. I quickly managed to find a job and a sports club. I met some really awesome people in a short period of time and developed some new social skills that I am sure will help me throughout my entire life.

We all know that going through 2020 with the whole COVID-19 situation was not easy. However, I would like to mention how Box Hill Institute adapted overnight to online study, remaining with the same quality of classes and the study experience overall (including awesome online event management works and psychological support during the lockdown).

I could have never been happier with another choice because this institute really opened my eyes regarding my future. The skills and knowledge that I have gained there were life-changing for me. That’s why I recommend it to every single person out there that has set their mind to sport development. The whole experience in Australia has given me great memories and valuable knowledge, that I will use in the near future definitely. Box Hill Institute provides limitless opportunities, equipping its students with the practical and theoretical knowledge equally, and helps obtain real life skills, which is a great advantage for students` future professional careers.

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Manish Ghimire


Bachelor of Hospitality Management

A pioneer in Nepal's hospitality sector, the Soaltee Crowne Plaza in Kathmandu is a 12-acre five-star deluxe hotel and the recipient of prestigious awards and accolades over the years. Soaltee Hotel is known for its rich history as a pioneer in Nepal’s tourism and it’s on such a place that international Bachelor of Hospitality Management student at Box Hill Institute, Manish Ghimire, has set his sights.

Manish has high hopes of working in senior management at a five star hotel and his role model is Dinesh Bdr Bista, manager of the Soaltee Hotel. Modern hospitality development is still in its early days in Nepal and Manish is keen to grow the industry. 

To obtain a good foundation for his ambitions, Manish decided to study with Box Hill Institute where, he said, the small class sizes meant good communication between lecturers and students, which helped his student life in Melbourne and encouraged him to focus on gaining knowledge and skills

Manish said, “I love the people. We have huge diversity and I have learned about various cultures around the world. Students had to organise lots of presentations and research-based assessments, which I loved because it has helped myself to be more confident, tackle the people question and do more in depth research.”
“The lecturers are wonderful. Whenever we need, we contact them and we are assisted. Also, the teachers are so friendly that they always share their hospitality stories and encouraged us to do new things,” he said. 

Manish studied at Box Hill Institute’s city campus, which is close to Flinders Street Station, the central city train station. It has a lounge room where students can take rest and as it’s located at the heart of the city, it is easily accessible to people living in any part of Melbourne. Manish said, “During my lunch break, I usually go to walk throughout the city and try different cuisines”.

Naturally, Manish has had the support of many along his journey and he said, “I would like to thank my family, friends and teacher from school and colleges who have shown me the way, helped me make decisions and provided advice every time I needed it. Of course, to my dad and mom who have supported me and allowed me to get inside this hospitality industry which was my dreams.”

Thi Thuy Nguyen


Bachelor of Hospitality Management

KOTO stands for Know One Teach One, a philosophy of accepting help because you need it and then helping others when you can. 

I finished my Certificate II in Hospitality through KOTO and accredited by Box Hill Institute in 2009. I then received a scholarship from KOTO to study three courses at Box Hill Institute in Melbourne, Australia. There I would study a Certificate IV of Hospitality, a Diploma of Hospitality Management and I am currently doing the second year of a Bachelor of Hospitality Management.

I felt so lucky when I received the chance to study at Box Hill Institute because the teachers are very friendly and willing to help if I need it. The small size of classes is very good, allows students to focus on lessons, and the facilities support students in their study. 

As we all know, Melbourne is multicultural so in my class I have made lot of friends from different countries such as China, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. 

It is very hard for me to pick my favourite teacher because I love all of them. 

After I complete my course, my dream is to open my own small restaurant in Vietnam. 
Thank you KOTO and Box Hill Institute for giving me amazing opportunity to study in Melbourne as for giving me a better life. Without KOTO and Box Hill Institute, I wouldn’t have an amazing life or a positive future. 

Shreeya Budhathoki


Bachelor of Fashion

Inspired by Nepalese American fashion designer and one of the top designers in New York, Prabal Gurung, Shreeya Budhathoki packed her bags and flew from Nepal to Australia to study fashion at Box Hill Institute. She said, “When I was looking through colleges and universities for my course, I found Box Hill Institute to have an all-rounder experience for me. The course included creative subjects such as design, technical skills such as pattern making and construction together with business subjects such as marketing.”

As part of her experience studying the Bachelor of Fashion, Shreeya got the opportunity to showcase her graduate collection at the Melbourne Fashion Week Student Runway. Her collection was inspired by her country of origin, exploring it's rich culture. Shreeya used the women from the Nepalese indigenous group, Tharu, as her inspiration and the bright colour palette paired with bold patterns that she used are reminiscent of the group's traditional attire.

It took Shreeya some time to settle into her new country and she said, it was definitely difficult in the beginning managing everything all herself but it got better with time. She said, “I found amazing friends during my first year of college and they were very helpful throughout my study in Box Hill.”

Despite finding all of her teachers to be very friendly, helpful and supportive, Shreeya said, “It took a while for me to settle into studies just because the whole education system is much different than in Nepal and the course itself is quite intense and [I needed to do] a lot of work to keep up. 

“I found the resources for fashion design to be really great. We get access to stock rooms with plenty of excess fabrics, buttons, threads, etc. Our classroom consists of all industrial machines, which help us to familiarise ourselves and prepare for the industry and the library provides us with great variety of books,” she said.   

Shreeya’s plan for the future is to apply for jobs in fashion brands as a design assistant and to explore the role and other positions there are in the industry to find what works for her. 

For future students considering choosing Australia for their study, Shreeya recommends doing as much research as possible about the college, the course, the job market, and future career opportunities using online and offline resources, including talking to people already living in Australia. 

Today, Shreeya thanks her family for their support. She said, “Without their support I wouldn't be able to come this far.” Her thanks extends to her friends, who made her experience fun and memorable, and her teachers, especially Lize Niemczyk, a design teacher who was a constant support throughout Shreeya’s studies, particularly in the final year. Shreeya said, “I am very grateful for her and want to thank her with all my heart.”

Marco Lee

Hong Kong

Certificate IV in Patisserie and Diploma of Hospitality Management

Pursuing his passion and interests in hospitality and culinary arts, Marco has completed a Certificate IV in Patisserie and a Diploma of Hospitality Management course at Box Hill Institute. Since completing his Certificate IV, Marco has now completed a Bachelor of Hospitality Management at Box Hill Institute.

Marco said, “Box Hill Institute offers you great courses to study. The teachers are easy to get along with and are very professional. I enjoyed their teaching, especially during one-on-one sessions.

Students enrolled in the Certificate IV in Patisserie develop a range of incredible skills in practice and in theory, from preparing cakes and pastries to learning how to manage conflict and finances within a budget. Marco said, “While studying a Certificate IV in Patisserie, what I enjoyed most was making marzipan figures, chocolate displays and showpieces, while in my Diploma of Hospitality Management, I enjoyed learning how to manage a business.”

With the right motivation and attitude, Marco believes “if you apply yourself and remain dedicated, hospitality and culinary arts are great to study.”

In the future, Marco aims to become a hotel or event manager. His role model is Australia’s most celebrated patissier and chef, Adriano Zumbo. “I love the creativity he puts into his food and desserts,” he said.

In addition, Marco said, “I would like to thank my family, friends and home stay family for the continuous support I receive during my studies at Box Hill Institute.”

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Rheea Busawon


Bachelor in Commerce

Rheea Busawon believes that sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. “Tip toe if you must,” she said, “but take the step.”

For Rheea, leaving her family in Mauritius to pursue her studies alone in Australia was a massive step. As the first person in her family to complete higher studies, she has been driven by the desire to be independent and to make her family proud but she has had to be her own mentor along the way.

Having now completed a Bachelor in Commerce, Rheea studied at our City Campus. She said, “The staff are very friendly, especially the international, marketing and commerce departments. Everyone has really helped me to adjust to life in Melbourne, which is completely different to Mauritius. Every day is a new adventure.”

As part of her course, Rheea had to give formal presentations, which she really enjoyed. She said, “The group discussions in classes are really enriching and interesting as you see different people from different background sharing their views and culture. Our classroom is like a multicultural platform where you have a taste of different countries.”

“The small classes give us all the opportunity to express ourselves and gain individual attention from our lecturers. The teachers are really accessible. At any time, you can leave them a message and they will get back to you as soon as possible. They make sure everyone is participating in class,” she said.

For those considering study at Box Hill Institute, Rheea said, “I would recommend Box Hill Institute to my friends as I really enjoy studying here and life is not just inside the four walls of the classroom but you also get the opportunity to make new friends and go to events like free lunch, awards night and so on.”

Like many students, Rheea is acutely aware that she would not have achieved all she has today without the support of her parents and many Box Hill Institute staff, in particular Nikita Singh in the International department, her course coordinators Doctor Farinoush Farhadieh and Doctor Melanie Dare, and her lecturers John Ferrito and Dr Syed Abbas. She said, “I just want to let them know that I really value their presence in my life and again thanks for everything.”

After completing her studies, Rheea has since returned to Box Hill Institute to work as a Graduate Accountant.

Sara Bakhshi


Bachelor of Commerce

It was always my dream to visit and explore Australia and now I’m so pleased to have studied here.

Through high school and in preparation for university, my goal was the accounting field.

I went to university in Iran and I started to study accounting. I finished my Associate Degree of Accounting and started to work as an accountant for a money exchange company.

After working for a year, I was getting close to achieving my dream of going to Australia. The support of my family helped me to keep believing in the dream. Everything just seemed to be going on the right track for me.

Finally, I applied to study accounting at Box Hill Institute. I got my application approved by the institute in one month. I was amazed how quick it happened! Getting my visa from the Australian Embassy in Tehran took a lot more time and effort but finally my visa was approved. At last, I could say I was a real international student in one of the best higher education institutes in Victoria, Australia.

I will always be thankful for my family’s support, the research they did on Box Hill Institute and their financial support for my major. As well as that, I’m so grateful for Box Hill’s support, the way they responded to my never ending enquiries.

I like to say, ‘No fears no tears, think about your vision and follow your mission’.

It’s never too late to follow the path in your heart. If you truly desire something there is always a way to reach it.

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Jason Wu


Bachelor of Music Performance

Hi, I’m Jason. I’ve been studying and playing music for over a decade, and have been to lots of different countries, but I decided to settle in Melbourne to study music.

Melbourne has a diverse arts culture. People can join in and enjoy lots of different arts in many ways. I am a trumpet player and I used to be a busker playing my trumpet on the street. When I first started busking it was just to earn some money, but then I gradually began to realise that I just loved to play and see the smiles on people’s faces as they listen.

The other thing I like about Melbourne is that there are a lot of festivals, such as the International Jazz Festival, ANZAC Day and even a ‘Zombie’ Day, which is full of people laughing on the street. Every year that I’ve been here I’ve played in the ANZAC Day March – which stands for the ‘Australian and New Zealand Army Corps’. At the beginning I did it just to join in with people in their festival but I gradually realised it wasn’t really a festival but it is about remembering those that have passed away at war and to celebrate life as it is now. It is a beautiful thing in Australia.

Music is a part of my life – if human life is a tree, then music is the water and Australia is the fresh soil I need. In the future after a few years of experience in my music studies I plan to use what I’ve learnt to carry forward Chinese music culture to the world.

Dendy Rosman


Bachelor of Hospitality Management

In November 2010, I was given the opportunity of a life time. It’s put me on a path that’s led to many accomplishments.

I was one of the applicants chosen through a rigorous selection process to study in Australia under the ‘VET Endeavour Award 2010’. The Endeavour Award is the Australian Government’s internationally competitive, merit-based scholarship program providing opportunities for people around the world to undertake study and professional development in Australia.

This opportunity brought me to Box Hill Institute to study an Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management.

Throughout my advanced diploma studies at Box Hill Institute I strived for academic excellence. My decision to continue my education by pursuing a Bachelor of Hospitality Management came from the academic success I had as a Box Hill student and my interest in the field of tourism and hospitality.

I was initially attracted to Box Hill Institute for its international reputation. The Bachelor of Hospitality Management at Box Hill emphasises the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed for effective tourism and hospitality management. It’s very important to me that practical experience plays a big role in the learning process.

Lastly, I love to push myself and see how far I can go; to take the initiative and never let opportunities slip by because of fear. Through education comes knowledge. Knowledge will give me the ability to better control my life and my destiny.

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Azucena Nayarai Sanchez Aguilar


Diploma of Early Education

When I was a girl I remember playing Monopoly with my family. Normally we used to play at night and we needed candles to give us light to see. I always remember I wanted to pass through Oceania, and see the Kangaroos. I could never imagine then Australia would become my host country and temporary home.

My family and friends have been my inspiration in many aspects of my life. They are one of my reasons I made it to study in Australia. They showed me if you want to achieve something, you must be persistent and never give up.

My grandparents are a great example of that. They were poor yet they did everything they could to provide an education for their five daughters. My grandma, Carmelita, says, “Study is the most important thing in life because no one can take it from you and you can always use your education to support yourself”. My grandpa used to say, “People that read and travel are the richest in knowledge”. I believe them.

When I was in Mexico, I worked in journalism and communications with companies like News Paper Reforma, Editorial Televisa and Martha Debayle’s bbmundo. It wasn’t easy to get a job there but I followed the advice of my family and friends: do your best and never give up.

After a while, I realized I really enjoyed writing articles for children and parents. So I decided that it was time to get a higher qualification relevant to children’s education.

After research, I chose Australia because it is a multicultural country and has excellent educational standards. And Box Hill Institute provided the course and qualification I was looking for.

Being far away from home wasn’t always easy. I had to deal with the loss of my grandpa (who I thought of as my second father) and one of my aunts. I wanted to come back to Mexico at that time, but my grandma and parents told me, “Keep doing your best in Australia. Your grandpa and aunt would be proud of you”.

So there I was with my husband and my little girl following my dream, working hard, and doing my best.

Emmely Chan


Bachelor of Hospitality Management

Emmely Chan has been Box Hill Institute’s International Student of the Year and she has served as the Institute’s Malaysian Ambassador for the International Ambassador program. With achievements like this, Emmely is obviously on her way to an outstanding career.

She said, “I used to think that I was not academically intelligent, but I was wrong. Anyone can achieve their dreams and exceed their own expectations as long as they want it enough. I hope to encourage and inspire other students to do well by being an example.”

Emmely is currently working in a five-star hotel in the spa and hopes to continue to develop her skills within the industry, aiming to become a spa director in a five-star spa and wellness centre and to run her own business.

Emmely enjoyed her experience studying at Box Hill Institute. She says it gave her an opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds, and to learn and explore various cultures and their hospitality industries.

“My main message to prospective international students who are interested in gaining an education in Australia is to remember their purpose here as students is their education, and to discover more about themselves as well as experience all that Australia has to offer,” she said.

Finally, Emmely said she would like to thank her family who has always been there to support her, and Box Hill Institute staff, Farinoush Farhadieh, Melanie Dare and John Ferrito who “put in so much effort to make my time here as student enjoyable and productive”.

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Jiwon Shin


Diploma of Automotive

I am from Busan city, Korea, which is the second largest city in Korea. I first came to Australia six years ago. All I knew at that time about Australia was the Opera House and kangaroos. However there were lots of things about Australia than I thought. I was surprised to see the variety of people and the vast natural environment.

I had to return to Korea to complete army service. After army service I thought a lot of things about my future. I had been to Japan and Europe, but I kept thinking about Australia and eventually decided that life in Australia was the most suitable for my future.

I decided to study the Diploma of Automotive at Box Hill Institute because the agency recommended it. And it was a good choice because the teachers helped me to get real work placement experience in my field while I studied. There is also a career service which helped me to write a winning job application and my resume, and taught me how to be myself in interviews.

Box Hill Institute is not yet well known in Korea, so people tend to go to other better known schools.

However, I don’t believe it is means that a ‘well known’ school means a perfect school. I want to introduce people to our Institute with its career system and good quality education.

Now, my family is very happy and proud about my achievements so far. They say that after coming here I have learnt to take good care of myself, start working and get great results from studying.

Quyen Trinh


Diploma of Hospitality Management (Specialising in Commercial Cookery)

Studying a Diploma of Hospitality Management seemed like an obvious choice for Quyen Trinh. He said, “I’m a big eater. I love to taste different food and more importantly, I do have a strong passion for cooking.”

Quyen obtained a Box Hill Institute and Know One Teach One (KOTO) scholarship to study his diploma in Box Hill. KOTO is a social enterprise that provides positive change to the lives of street and disadvantaged Vietnamese youth.

Quyen said, “Box Hill Institute has the best practical and interactive classes. I enjoyed the practical classes the most because we all had chances to practice, cook, bake, taste and feel.

“The teachers were great. They helped me a lot in study. They were friendly, respectful and very knowledgeable, especially my favourite teacher, Chef Daman Shrivastav, who treated me so well and inspired me. If not for him, I wouldn’t be a successful student who achieved all the school, state and national awards.”

In addition to winning a silver medal at the Australian National Apprentice competition, Quyen has won the Best Apprentice in Victoria, Best Culinary Student in Victoria, and a Silver Medal Award at Victorian State final. He was also nominated as one of Box Hill Institute’s Student of the Year awards.

Quyen is passionate about opening his own restaurant and hopes to do so within the next five years. He returned to Vietnam earlier this year and in April he became the Head Chef at KOTO Catering, a position that is responsible for assembling and overseeing the overall food and execution of the business. He said, “It is a big job with huge challenges but I love what I do.“

“I can never thank enough the wonderful opportunity that Box Hill and KOTO have given to me in. I would love to say thank you so much to my beloved chef and teacher Daman Shrivastav , Rachel Medew and Box Hill staff for their great support and to thank them for all these memories.”

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Huong Dang Thi


Associate Degree of Commerce

When I was at 7th grade, my teacher asked me what do I want now and what I would like to do in the future. I told her that I had just one dream and that was to keep studying at school as many other kids could do. I went home and discussed that topic with Mum, she said nothing but her sad eyes told me that my dream would never come true.

At the age of 12, I had to stop my schooling despite my dream of becoming a literature teacher. I felt like it was the end of the world. I had finished my seventh grade and had a dream of continuing my studies during the summer holiday, but soon we were made aware that my Mum was facing a kidney infection. She began to cry all the time when we discussed the future of my studies. I had no excuse but to accept her decision.

As a 13 year-old girl, I came to Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, by myself, in the hope of earning some income to support Mum and my siblings to allow them to continue their education. My first job in Hanoi was taking care of a four-month old baby. I earned 150,000 VND (about ten Australian dollars) per month and the entire wage I sent home to my Mum. I knew that I needed further education to seek a better life as, in my mind, I still really wanted to make my dream of becoming a teacher come true.

I decided to attend night classes at a Continuing Education Centre and worked very hard during the day. However, my host, was not happy about me going to school at nights and she kicked me out of her house shortly after I started going to night school. At that time, my Mum became very sick after so many years of hard work. My brother was in college, my sister was at secondary school and they were all depending on me for support. I couldn’t give up.

I didn’t mind what sort of work I did as long as I could continue to study and help my Mum. Luckily, I met a girl in my class who knew something about KOTO and suggested that I apply. I had no idea of what KOTO was all about but decided to visit to see if there might possibly be a safe place remaining as all I wanted was a safe place to live in and complete my high school education.

I became a KOTO Front of House Trainee in 2006. It was a big step and brought a remarkable change in my life. It opened a new door to me for. I seized my opportunities, building my confidence and hope, and I put all my effort in to study and work. In addition, I kept studying at night to try and complete high school and dared to dream of getting to university. I was able to graduate from high school and finished the course at KOTO at the same time. I was well prepared for the hospitality industry, could speak English and knew about essential life skills.

In 2012, I came to Melbourne, Australia for my new journey with Box Hill Institute, to study the Diploma of Business Management as well as taking on the role of Media and Communications Manager for KOTO International as a volunteer. After two years at Box Hill Institute, I am hoping to earn another scholarship to get into RMIT Melbourne for my Bachelor of Business Entrepreneurship.

Gia Hy Duong


Bachelor of Hospitality Management

I am from Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. I came to Australia and started to study the five-week ELICOS course at Box Hill Institute. Then, I moved on to study the Diploma of Hospitality Management (Patisserie). I have now completed the Bachelor of Hospitality Management. My time studying in Australia and at Box Hill Institute was very interesting and the experience of a life time.

Going to study abroad right after finishing high school was a very big thing for both me and my family. Traditionally, Vietnamese families tend to worry and care so much for their children. Moreover, since I am the only child and only grandchild, my trip was nearly cancelled at some points due to the over-protection. “I want to escape from being so spoiled and want to see what is out there,” I said that to my family and finally they let me go.

At first starting the course was very hard because the living and education environments here are completely different from my country. And again, I am glad that Box Hill Institute is where I chose to be because the class size are not too big and all of the teachers know each student by their name and story so that I can talk freely to them whenever i need advice. Now studying is not as tough anymore and it has become something that i am enjoying so much.

I often call home and use social media to share my experience with my family. With today’s technology we can talk face to face, and the 6694 km distance is not really that far anymore. Now, my family is very happy and proud about my achievements so far. They say that after coming here I have learnt to take good care of myself, start working and get great results from my studying. Since they have seen their daughter grow so much, now if people ask my family whether it is okay to let their kids go to Australia, the answer would be “Do not hesitate”. And for me, it would be “grab every chance that comes, go, see and experience”.

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