Honouring students making their mark

Our Wellbeing People of Adelaide

Many international students find meaningful ways to give back to the city while they’re here and StudyAdelaide’s International Student Awards provide an opportunity for their achievements to be recognised by the international community, academic institutions, locals and businesses.

The awards program covers six categories: Academic Excellence, Sporting Achievement, Entrepreneurship/Innovation, Community Engagement, Artistic & Cultural Achievement, and Student Event of the Year – with an International Student of the Year selected from the category winners.

As well as academic success, a student's ability to manage study-work-life balance, contribute to the local community and advocate for Adelaide as a premier student destination, is all considered in the selection process.

Last year’s Artistic Achievement Award winner was Crystal Neoh, who’s completing a Bachelor of Music (Classical Voice) at the Elder Conservatorium of Music and lives in town.

Hailing from Penang in Malaysia, one of Adelaide’s Sister Cities, Crystal has called Adelaide home since 2017 and has “fallen in love with this city and its people” – as well as the river winding through it.

“The Torrens is one of my favourite places,” said Crystal. “I like how it’s in the CBD but still a secluded area of its own where you can always find a nice spot to have an afternoon picnic or go for walks.”

In Australia’s first and only designated UNESCO City of Music, Crystal has been able to easily fuel her creative passions and find ways to bring joy to others through her beautiful singing voice.

For the past year, she’s been rostered to pull up a seat at the baby grand piano in the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s (RAH) foyer for an hour or so each week and sing a song or two. It’s a welcome distraction for patients and visitors she appreciates only too well.

Lady singing and playing the piano

Crystal at the keys of the baby grand in the foyer at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“I have a medical condition that requires me to have regular check-ups. After one appointment, I was quite upset, so I went to the cafe for a little cry and a soy flat white. A pianist was playing some tunes and having that music in the background lifted my spirits a fair bit. I eventually walked up and asked if he wanted to do a quick number together. That’s how it all started.”

For Crystal, participating in StudyAdelaide’s awards reaped riches far beyond the win itself and she strongly encourages other students to apply.

This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself on your journey of self-reflection while studying in Adelaide. It requires you to examine yourself, your life, and the things that are important to you. When else do you get this opportunity? Whatever the result, you’ll come out of this application process feeling more accomplished and motivated.”

Applications to this year’s StudyAdelaide International Student Awards open Monday 1 July and close Sunday 1 September, and can be made online. Winners will be announced Friday 25 October 2019. 

To find out more about other services available to international students in Adelaide, visit StudyAdelaide's website

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.