PhD at Deakin: A challenging but inspiring and enjoyable journey

Preparation to study abroad had taken me a long time– no less than three years of intensive working. The main reason was because I had almost no access to proper English language training until right before I decided to seek for study overseas. I started with learning the alphabet and English pronunciation when I was almost 30 years old. This was when I had work, family and other things in my life. That was not an easy path but there was not one time that I felt reluctant or ready to give up.

Australia was the number one destination when I and my husband started searching for information. This country attracted me not only because it had an advanced education system but also it was multicultural and peaceful country. After three to four years of working hard, my effort had been counted. We were bursting with pleasure and happiness when I was granted the Australia Award Scholarship.

I arrived in Australia with all my family members, including my husband and my three-month-old daughter. Despite the huge differences between Australia and our own country, we settled down very quick thanks to the support from Deakin, friends and people living around. My husband soon started working a full time-job while my baby enjoys her weekdays at childcare centre.

Lan with her family

Lan with her husband and daughter

For me, it is great to study in a prestigious and professional university like Deakin. As a research student (PhD in Economics) I do not have much coursework. Instead I need to be pro-active and work independently as well as discipline myself. Although a PhD is a challenging journey, I feel motivated and inspired almost all the time. I always receive adequate and timely support and encouragement from my supervisors and this was one important reason that I chose Deakin as the number one preference at the time I applied for the Australia Award. Besides working on my own topic, I have also attended a research project so that I can learn more how to work as a researcher. Academia is definitely the area that I have wanted to pursue and advance.

In November 2014 my family welcomed a new member, a baby boy. My little home now is full of laughter and happiness. Family brings me pleasure and happiness after hard working hours.

Studying in Australia has marked an important change in my mind. If doing a PhD was before supposed a termination for my career, it is now a departure. If success in a career was thought to be trade-off of family and social happiness, now I see them as a balanced combination.

Lan with her two children

Lan with her two children

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page. Or ask us a question by visiting our international student enquiry page – we’re happy to help you get to know Deakin better.

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