Who am I?
I'm Ishita Parakh and I'd love to be your next International Students' Representative. As a first-year student and a native of India, I have experienced the struggles of settling into a different culture and society, specifically during a pandemic. Studying online, from miles away can also be exhausting and isolating. Thus, I believe that there is much more that can be done to better student support facilities; just because you weren’t brought up here, doesn't mean that you don't belong. Hence, I have taken it upon myself to ensure that our voices are heard, changes we want, taken into consideration and that all international students have a fulfilling university experience.
Why vote for me?
A wise man once said, “be the change you want to see in this world”, and standing up as a candidate for this role is my small step in that direction. Friendly and patient, I will make sure that all your problems are voiced to the concerned authority and a solution negotiated as soon as possible. I will also lend an ear to all those who wish to voice a concern or simply talk.
As a Programme Representative at university, I have experience liaising between students and staff. This role entailed sharing both positive and constructive feedback, striving to enhance student learning. It is skills that I have learnt while in this position that I wish to apply to the above-mentioned role and mitigate the challenges faced by us as international students. Working with individuals from different backgrounds granted me with perspectives that have broadened my insights about the realities of being an international student.
What changes will I bring about?
Welfare: I will endeavour to fill in implementation gaps of mental health provisions offered by university, and ensure that they cater to the individual needs of international students. I will also ensure that peer supporters are available to contact, whenever an internationl student requires any form of help.
Funding: I will campaign for increased scholarships and funding opportunities to be available to internationstional students. I will also negotiate a lower tutition fee, as the inflated amount hampers with the process of enrollment and proves a massive burden.
Transition: I will create a mentoring system for international students where older students can advise first-year students on setting up bank accounts, getting a sim card and generally adapting to Scottish culture.
Racial Diversity: I will expand the reach of the current Global Buddies scheme, to form a more cohesive international environment. I will also make it a point to rally for the safety of all international students, and prevent discrimination.