Indonesian valedictorian grabs UQ life with both hands

International student and graduation valedictorian Yasmin Larasati has taken full advantage of the creative and cultural opportunities offered by university life in Brisbane.

When Yasmin moved from Indonesia to start the UQ Universitas Indonesia (UQ-UI) linked program in psychology in 2016, she signed up to as many UQ groups and associations as she could fit into her week.

"Just to name a few, I joined the United Nations Student Association, the UQ Arts theatre group, UQ Street Groove and Underground Productions," Yasmin said.

"I wanted to make sure that my experience in Australia was more than just pursuing my degree in a different language or classroom format.

"Admittedly, going into the club meetings by myself and not knowing anybody was scare.

"However I knew if I pushed my comfort zone I'd later thank myself, which I did, as I met some of my best friends through these clubs."

Yasmin has loved life in Brisbane.

"I love how independent I've felt travelling around the city on my own, because transportation is so easy and safe - a luxury I don't have back home."

On top of an organised weekly study regime, assisting with international events and providing support to international students, Yasmin also found time to be involved in Brisbane's amateur theatre community and a few activism projects.

Yasmin is the first student the UQ-UI linked psychology program to be selected as a UQ valedictorian since the program started in 2000.

UQ-UI program Director Associate Professor Peter Newcombe, from UQ’s Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation, and UQ’s School of Psychology said the valedictorian role was a reflection of Yasmin’s academic success and contribution to UQ.

“Yasmin is the first of 252 graduates who have been involved in the program to be given this honour,” Associate Professor Newcombe said.

“Yasmin’s involvement in UQ life as well as the wider community is a great example for other international students here for an academic and cultural experience.”

what's next for Yasmin?

“I would like to explore postgraduate studies as UQ opened my eyes to the opportunities a career in research would offer,” she said.

Yasmin will graduate from UQ with a Bachelor of Arts with an extended major in psychology and a minor in gender studies.
Later this year she will graduate from UI with a Sarjana Psikologi.