International Student Story: Irine Tania

Written by Your Story

“Try to get involve in organization. Don’t be shy, take action to be brave.” – Irine Tania.

Not many people would guess that this shy girl is the president of an Indonesian student association of more than 1000 members in Sydney. Irine Tania is a third-year international student of UTS, doing Bachelor of Finance and Accounting. Arriving in Australia on September 2013, she has just one more semester to go until she receives her final recognition.


While still in Indonesia, a lot of her friends and other youngsters chose Melbourne to study, but Irine decided to study in Australia. This choice is simply because she has an elder brother living and studying in Sydney already, and she saw studying abroad as an opportunity to improve her English skills. However, this long trip has exceeded Irine’s expectations. In a country where there is the mixture of religions and freedom of speech, Irine feels more respected. She loves Sydney, and the multi-cultural environment has also allowed her to grow to be a more open-minded and sociable person.

This change is a huge movement in Irine’s life. Before getting used to the international student life, she was very quiet and was scared to make friends or communicate. Language has always been a common disadvantage for international students. To beat this difficulty, Irine joined The Activity Club in UTS: Insearch in which she met many people and practiced her English skills by communicating with all members.

A calm and soft girl can be a good President – why not?

Since early May, Irine becomes the president of Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia Australia (PPIA) – Indonesian Students Association of UTS. PPIA UTS is a non-profit organisation customized mainly for all Indonesian students studying at UTS but is open to all students. Her success as a president includes the steady increase in people joining PPIA UTS. According to Irine, she runs one event per month and at every event there are more than 50 people attending. Just recently, their ‘Help Indonesia Breathe’ campaign, created to help people in Sumatra and Kalimantan from the burning forests disaster, has had a successful end.


Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in having a good presentation or talk to the sponsors. (Photo by Irine Tania)

“Don’t be afraid if you don’t have experience, when you have commitment, you can do it. Everytime you do, try your best!” – Irine Tania

Being a president of an association has taught Irine many lessons in how to manage time and balance work, create an event, have a good presentation, talk to the sponsors as well as defining the committee and organising the team. She has proved to everyone that being soft and calm is another way to lead an organisation.


A campaign named Help Indonesia Breathe has just ended successfully. (Photo by Irine Tania)

One of her regrets so far is that she did not try to do this earlier. So, if there is one thing she could do to make a difference, is to be to be more sociable and join PPIA at the first days she had been to Australia.

Love what you are doing, Finance and Accounting will be easier!

Not only is her time management effective, but the passion towards her major is a reason Irine keeps up with lessons and exams. A good foundation in her hometown and her love of Math helped her get high grades in Finance and Accounting in Diploma of Business at UTS: Insearch. Her marks helped her believe more in herself that she can do Finance and Accounting. She said: “You have to like the subject and be patient with Finance and Accounting. Also, you should try to review every lecture even there is no exam or if it’s easy, and practice as much as you can. You will get a better result.”  Not everyone doing Finance and Accounting likes Math, but definitely everyone can do it if you try hard.

What is the secret tip of a young president?

Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, a part-time job, social works and hanging out with friends. The amount of work you can imagine is super high and very hard to manage to do them well. However, this hardworking international student is really living with it and trying to balance them all.


Irine is a typical busy international student with studying, part-time job, social works, hanging out with friends. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Her routine is to wake up at 6 or 7 o’clock and study until to 9 o’clock in the morning, spend the rest of the day on other tasks and then back to homework at night. Irine also knows that it is important to keep good health is also important, and has started to do yoga. Although it will be hard in the beginning, thinking about long-term effects gives her more motivation.

Will you stay or go back to your country after graduated from Australia?


“A broad social network and communication are important to help develop a business” – Irine thinks. (Photo by Irine Tania)

Irine does not hesitate in saying that she will go back to Indonesia. She has a strong love for her nation and hopes that she can develop it one day. Her current ambition is to create a business and has already begun coordinating with a friend in her hometown. They hope to bring the online store, selling dresses with traditional Indonesian batik patterns, live by March 2016. She cannot wait to build up a brand of Indonesian culture and hopes to see people from other nations wearing her nation’s traditional pattern.

She also shared her tips:

“If you want to make your business last longer, try to make it step by step. Meeting a lot of people may help you promote and innovate the ideas.”

So, if you are also interested in this project, stay tuned for her product next year!

If you could give advice for international students, what would it be?

“Make a lot of friends, as much as you can, not only from your country but with different countries and backgrounds.”

What would you say to inspire international students to get better in the future?

“Try to get involve in the different student organizations. Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.”


“Don’t be shy, take an action to be brave.” – said Irine (Photo by Irine Tania)

Last modified: November 20, 2015

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