Why did you choose to study in Australia and specifically at UQ?
I’d already studied tourism as part of my undergraduate degree. I wanted to pursue my postgraduate studies overseas as I believe that studying in a different education system provides you with a crucial opportunity to improve your language skills and enhance your knowledge.
I chose to study at UQ as its position as a leading Australian university within the Group of Eight (Go8) provides me with a quality education, industry resources and business and networking opportunities that are beneficial to my study and future career. The alumni and industry networks I've gained while studying here have helped me tremendously.
What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane?
Considering my program is the Master in Tourism, Hotel and Event Management, it made sense to study in a location surrounded by many famous attractions and tourism destinations such as the Gold Coast, Cairns and more. This connection provides me with more opportunities to apply knowledge and hone my skills.
I really appreciate the Brisbane lifestyle, sustainability and focus on the environment. Most residents are keen on natural activities such as hiking and biking. I also like that if I ever miss my hometown food I can find it at Westfield Garden City Shopping Centre.
What are the best things about your program at UQ?
With my program, it's impossible to have a purely theoretical approach so we are encouraged to undertake relevant work experience while studying. This helps us to progress faster and apply what we learn during our studies in the workplace so we can keep reflecting and make real progress.
I aspire to someday be a hotel manager with an entrepreneurial spirit. My program has undeniably provided me with the relevant knowledge to thrive in this area. My extra-curricular experiences with UQ Idea Hub and UQ Ventures helped broaden my perspective of what entrepreneurship can be and helped me to strengthen my problem-solving skills. Participating in this program inspired me to choose electives in entrepreneurship and innovation, which has been rewarding and provided me with different insights into tourism.
Have you undertaken an internship, volunteer experience or UQ Employability program?
The UQ BEL Student Employability Team helped me a lot, especially the practice mock interviews which gave me confidence in front of the interviewers. The team also helped me to find work experience opportunities. Since then, I’ve undertaken three internships while at UQ. I grew quickly during these internships, gaining knowledge in new areas. These experiences allowed me to understand how Australian organisations function and learn the working culture.
I also appreciated being paired with a mentor as part of the BEL Global Mates program and meeting other student mentees. Every couple of weeks we had a coffee at Café Merlo at the UQ St Lucia campus. The other participants and I ended up forming a group of friends and did lots of fun things together. Making friends through this program made me feel supported and like I always had someone looking out for me – I wasn’t alone.
What advice would you give people from other countries about studying at UQ?
Stepping out of your comfort zone is difficult, especially for international students whose mother language is often not English. My advice is to be brave and do the things that scare us so that we can truly make progress and gain more confidence.