Having a multi-dimensional personality, I wanted to study at a place where I could not only expand my academic knowledge, but also explore my other interests and passions. Deakin caters wonderfully to all I could have ever asked for from a university and more!
I am an international student from India, studying a Bachelor of Biological Science at Deakin University and I am currently on exchange at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, in Alaska, United States for a semester. After experiencing life ‘down under’, I am as far north as it gets. It is safe to say, life is an adventure.
When I started university in July 2014, I was a shy and new student. But fast-forward just one year and I had become completely immersed in university life, spending more time on campus than at home or work. There are so many student clubs at Deakin University to get involved in, but there was one that caught my eye – the Deakin University Biomedical Society (DUBS).
My very first encounter with DUBS was during my first year of studies, when Sinem, the former club president and founder, helped me get involved with the fun and educational events the club had to offer. In 2015, I served as a Student Representative for first year students. Together with the other committee members, DUBS ran an array of events including Careers and Cocktails, and an End of Exams Party. In 2015, DUBS expanded to Deakin’s campus in Geelong, becoming the first student club to run across both campuses. The best thing about DUBS is that it is both social and developmental, providing students with both professional, and personal growth.
I also loved volunteering for the Deakin University Student Association (DUSA) as a Red Shirt member. We run events for students on campus including free food days and Orientation Week (O’Week). For most students, O’week is the first experience they have at Deakin, so we work hard to make sure it is one of the best. From free food, rides, giveaways and performers, DUSA organises both day and night events for one full week before studies start. The events are so popular that you will probably see more people on campus during O’Week than exam week!
To celebrate the hard work of its volunteers, DUSA hosts a Thank You Party and an Awards Night to appreciate and acknowledge the work of the volunteers. In 2015, I won the Outstanding Achievement and Team Development Award for my work. Being a Red Shirt member is perhaps the best thing that has ever happened to me.
Another thing new Deakin students immediately notice when the trimester starts is that there are many people in orange T-shirts – the International Student Support (ISS) team. The ISS staff are here to help students with everything, and are happy to answer questions. Understanding the first few weeks at university can be very challenging, especially for students from different educational backgrounds, I volunteer with ISS every year and I enjoy helping out new students.
During my studies, I also worked on campus with Team Watson (A Deakin University partnership with IBM) which was the best job because I could do all the activities I wanted to do at university while also working at the same place. And more recently, I also had the opportunity to share my Deakin experience at a high tea event with the Vice Chancellor of Deakin and the General Consul of India.
Now studying abroad for six months in Alaska, you can probably see why it was hard to leave my active and multi-dimensional Deakin life to go on an exchange semester! I can’t wait to get back to Melbourne to resume my studies.
Sending much love from Alaska!
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.