University of Melbourne student Sander Bredal was chosen from Victoria’s 175,000 international students as the International Student of the Year – Higher Education at the 2016 Victorian International Education Awards held last night at Government House.

President of both the Australian Federation of International Students (AFIS) and the University of Melbourne Student Union International, Bredal was one of sixteen winners recognized for their outstanding contribution to Victoria’s thriving international student population.

This year’s student winners are awarded up to $10,000 to go towards their studies and will also become ambassadors for the Victorian Government’s Study Melbourne initiative, which will promote the University’s capabilities to the world.

Sander Bredal, who is from Norway, is studying a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Politics and International Studies and says he aims to support international students in Melbourne by mentoring others to overcome similar situations.

“Moving to a new country for study is no small undertaking, and settling in to life in Melbourne there were a few bumps in the road,” said Bredal.

"Being able to work with fellow students in navigating their challenges is very rewarding. I hope to continue contributing to a vibrant community leading change, and empowering students to make their own overseas study experience and make friends from all over the world."

Deputy Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Professor Susan Elliott, said the award provides significant recognition of the University’s diverse student population.

“We congratulate Sander on his success in last nights awards. He has been an exemplary leader for our international student community since his arrival in Melbourne and it is a recognition that is richly deserved,” said Professor Elliott.

“The University of Melbourne is home to many talented international students from around the world, and we are incredibly proud of their contributions that make our campuses so vibrant, welcoming, inclusive and multicultural."