Taylors College Sydney
It’s Smita Sah’s job to be everybody’s friend – and it’s a job she thrives at. As our own resident Oprah, Smita spends most of her day listening to and counseling students.
Born in India, Smita’s father was in the Army so her formative years were spent traveling all over the country. From a young age, she developed a love of travel, seeing new places and interacting with people from different walks of life.
As a migrant to Australia, having moved to Sydney over 8 years ago, Smita understands what it’s like for international students.
“I strongly empathise with the initial sense of displacement that our students feel and also the accompanying feelings of loss and a sense of isolation.”
Smita helps and counsels Taylors students through the stages of ‘arriving’, ‘surviving’ and ‘thriving’. “Guiding students through these stages is a deeply rewarding experience and I am continually amazed at their progress”.
She fondly recalls one student who suffered panic attacks. “He was so overcome by fear that he was unable to finish the exam and actually gave up on the entire course as well. He spent many hours in counseling getting supportive advice. As the day of the exam approached, the student’s anxieties started to peak and the counseling sessions became more intense.”
“On the day of the exam, the student was overcome with a paralyzing fear and was brought to me in a distressed state. I spent over an hour counseling him and calming him down enough to be able to take the exam again. His teachers were supportive enough to allow him to finish the paper later that afternoon with extra time.”
“It was an incredible challenge but the student mustered the courage to face his inner fears and focus on finishing the paper.”
“In the end the student scored top marks and got through to the course of his choice at the University of Sydney. I was enormously relieved and happy for him.”
It’s this student’s story and others that make Smita’s job all the more fulfilling.