Home' Postgrad Futures : 2016 Postgrad Futures Contents Postgraduate Futures 2016 23
What made you want to do postgraduate
study and work in Australia?
Prajwol: Before applying for a postgrad, I researched
student life in Australia. I found that Australia was
hailed as one of the best places to live while you learn.
It’s a dynamic, vibrant country with energetic people
and a strong reputation for excellent education.
Juthaporn: Australian universities are very supportive
of international students. It’s a safe country and not too
far from my home. The people enjoy a high standard of
living, they have a professional way of working and they
are open-minded to foreigners. It’s a great place to stay.
Nandini: When I decided to enrol in a Master of
Computer Science, I researched the pros and cons of the
top universities across the globe. I decided on Australia
because Monash University has a fantastic computer
science department and several merit-based scholarships
for international students. Melbourne is a beautiful
city and a growing hub for software companies, which
made the decision that much easier.
When you began your postgrad, what was
your experience of studying in Australia
and where did you live?
Nandini: The first few weeks were consumed with
academic administration and getting used to the
rhythm of daily life. The university made the transition
easier with an extensive orientation session, which
answered many of my questions. I was lucky to find
fellow postgrads as flatmates, who were very welcoming
and took me to the beach on my first day.
Prajwol: Studying here has been the best experience
of my life. When I first arrived I shared a room with
another student, because I love to get to know people
and learn about their culture. Room-share is great,
low-budget accommodation, but the university offers
a range of other options in their residential buildings
Juthaporn: Melbourne is a lively city and convenient
to travel around, so I don’t have any difficulties living
here. But as my native language is not English, it took
me a while to adjust my listening, speaking and writing
skills in class. I would recommend overseas students to
enrol in an English course before the start of semester.
where did you find support to help you
in your studies?
Juthaporn: The library had plenty of resources and
free courses to help me improve my speaking and
writing skills. I also received great support from
academic staff, who helped me find an engineering
project that suited my interests.
Nandini: My lecturers are incredible, and everyone
is approachable and friendly. They go the extra mile
to help you resolve any concerns you might have.
The university also incorporates interactive teaching
methods, which I find very useful.
Prajwol: There is a great culture of being able to talk
to your professor or lecturer about something you don’t
understand. If you need help with academic situations
or personal problems, the university provides free
counselling. At Monash, there is a postgraduate
association and a student association to help you out.
What challenges did you have when
you were finding work in Australia?
Juthaporn: There are not many large companies who
accept international students. I’m still studying a Masters
degree and have only had casual and part-time work
so far, but I’d like to join an engineering company.
Nandini: Finding part-time work turned out to be
a little more challenging than expected as most
positions are full-time. However, with time and
effort, I was employed as a research officer at the
university, which complements my studies.
Prajwol: I’ll be absolutely honest – the driving
factor for finding work in Australia, besides a solid
qualification, is how well you know people. It’s
important to look in the right place at the right time.
After applying for over 250 jobs online, I was able
to find one at the university.
What are the highlights of your
career so far?
Prajwol: One highlight was getting to spend
time working at Agilent Technologies while
I was a student. Another was being awarded
with a Monash Graduate Research Scholarship
so I could pursue my research and complete a PhD.
It looks like things just keep getting better, so I’ve
no doubt if you ask me in few years I’ll have a new
highlight to add to the list.
Nandini: In my second year, I had the opportunity
to do a one-year research project. I was fortunate to
work with a very accomplished and knowledgeable
research adviser and to work with The Alfred Hospital.
The university has a great combination of teaching
excellence, a relevant and well-defined curriculum,
flexibility for specialisation, industry partnerships
and, most importantly, the willingness to help you
reach your goals. There are a number of interesting
options I could pursue in research or industry.
Whichever path I choose, I am confident my two
years here have given me a solid foundation to
build a successful career.
very supportive of
it’s a safe country and
a great place to stay.”
ustralia is internationally recognised as one of the world’s top destinations for education. With a high
population of students from overseas, Australian universities offer a range of postgraduate degrees,
scholarships, accommodation services, English language courses and study assistance to welcome
In 2014, international students made up nearly a third (31.5%) of STEM postgraduate research students in
Australia. Given the numbers of international students who remain in the country and apply for residency
or citizenship after completing their studies, Australia has the potential to become a key STEM destination.
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