How to look after your wellbeing as an international student

04 June 2020
CSU students on campus

Luke Cox is a Student Counsellor at Charles Sturt University Study Centres in Sydney. We interviewed him to find out more about the student wellbeing service and how he supports students with any challenges they may face during their studies.

What does wellbeing mean?

When thinking about what wellbeing support is available at the Study Centres, we first need to understand what ‘wellbeing’ means. Wellbeing is a concept which relates to many areas of life including our physical, mental, emotional and social health.

What wellbeing support is available at the Study Centres?

As a Student Counsellor, I work with students individually to help them understand any concerns they are having and the impact on their wellbeing. I connect them with personal strengths and qualities which help them to manage or overcome these concerns. The counselling service is free and confidential, which means what we discuss is kept private.

How do you support students day-to-day?

I support students day-to-day by providing one-to-one counselling assistance. My approach working with students is to be curious and collaborative, meaning that we work together as a team towards understanding concerns from your personal perspective. When we explore issues, I explore them together with students in a non-judgemental way. I utilise Narrative Therapy techniques, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural therapy approaches.

Why did you choose to be a Student Counsellor at the Study Centres?

I chose to work with university international students because I am passionate about supporting young people, and recognise that the university experience can be very challenging at times. Being a young mental health practitioner, it was not too long ago that I too was faced with some of these challenges as a student. After working with international students for just over a year and a half now, I’ve come to learn about the many unique challenges international students experience which local students in Australia perhaps may not be aware of. I am constantly inspired by how our students manage to overcome these challenges, and ultimately are able to achieve their hopes and dreams.

What other services are available?

In addition to the counselling service, we also have a number of other services which help create a sense of wellbeing;

  • Study Support – supports students who are experiencing issues with their studies, which can help to decrease study stress/anxiety.
  • Mentors – run by experienced students with lived experience of what it is like to be an international student. These students aim to help other students feel more comfortable and connected with others within the Study Centre.
  • SRC – run by students to help students enjoy their time during their studies. The SRC team often hosts a number of fun student events during each trimester, which helps support student social health.
  • Career support – gives students the skills they need to find casual work as an international student, but also equips them with the skills to feel confident as new graduates searching for professional work. Often having a job supports your wellbeing by giving you a sense of purpose, and also supports social health by allowing you to create new social networks within the workforce.

All staff members are here in some way to support your wellbeing. As I always say to new students, all you need to do is let us know if you are struggling or not okay, and we will do whatever we can to support you through your personal situation

Meet your Student Counsellor

Luke Cox is a Student Counsellor at Charles Sturt University Study Centres Sydney

Luke Cox is a Provisional Psychologist and completed his Bachelor in Science with honours in psychology at the University of New South Wales. He has five years’ experience providing psychological services and counselling to clients, having previously worked with Lifeline Australia, and in the Occupational Rehabilitation industry. His approach to working with clients is curious and collaborative. He utilises Narrative Therapy techniques, Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioural therapy approaches. Luke is passionate about supporting vulnerable young people, and after working with international students for a year is inspired by the stories shared by international students about ways they have overcome challenges in order to achieve their hopes and dreams.

Find out more about student support at the Study Centres. All our services are being offered virtually (by phone or online) until face-to-face teaching resumes.

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