Navigating the world with Environmental Science at Deakin


Hi, my name is Wei Xu. I’m a third year international student studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Management and Sustainability). My aim of studying abroad is to expand my global vision in terms of the environmental sustainability and the way that western countries manage their environment. The program I attend is an existing collaboration between Deakin University in Australia and Hubei University in China, which enables me to study at both universities and obtain professional experience in both engineering and science.

Throughout my two years in Australia, I have enjoyed getting involved with volunteer work. My first volunteer role was working for Conservation Volunteers Australia in the Little Desert National Park. That was also the first time I saw unique Australian animals such as the emu and the malleefowl. I also witnessed the gorgeous Milky Way.


Observing the gorgeous Milky Way while volunteering in the Little Desert National Park

Another fantastic volunteer experience occurred in one of the elective units for my course, called SLE225 Global Environmental Placement. The first time I heard about this amazing unit was during the morning tea with Professor Guang Shi who is also the Head of School.

For the unit, I chose a New Zealand project during November 2015. The work completed in this project was great, but the overall experience throughout those four weeks is unforgettable. During the project, I made lots of friends who came from all over the world, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and Austria. My friends taught me lots of things that are happening in Europe which motivated me to discover more about the rest of the world. The project involved travelling to the Franz Josef Glacier which is one of the most famous glaciers in the ‘Middle Earth’. Friends made my travel fun, and I was never lonely.


Travelling to the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand with my coursemates

I was amazed that Deakin University had such a fantastic unit that can provide opportunities for students, and comprehensive support to enable students to gain work experience outside of Australia.

Taking a break from class and exploring Lake Pukaki, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes

Taking a break from my project and exploring Lake Pukaki, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful lakes

After the placement subject finished, I travelled with my new friends to Middle Earth’s famous Franz Josef Glacier. It was an incredible experience.

All of these experiences have not only expanded my global vision but also dramatically improved my English, and I’m not afraid to speak English anymore. And importantly, these experiences really stand out on my resume. Just recently, I successfully obtained a work placement with the Yarra Ranges Council during the summer vacation. Now I’m looking forward to experiencing more in my last year at Deakin, and I expect to enjoy even more direction towards my future career in Australia.

For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page

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