Studying sport science in Australia’s sporting capital

Mabuhay! My name is Oliver Townshend, dual nationality British/Filipino from Cebu City, right in the middle of the Philippines. I am in the second year of my Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science degree at Deakin (with a major in nutrition) and am thoroughly enjoying the student experience at Deakin and living in Melbourne.

From my earliest school days I have been passionate about sports and have been fortunate enough to pursue a wide range of sports at quite high competitive levels. So when it came time to consider higher education, the broad subject range was not too difficult to settle in on. Next question was location. My parents encouraged me to consider wider options outside of the Philippines and the UK, which were the natural first thoughts. Both were quickly disregarded (lack of opportunities and weather respectively). Australia was an obvious choice on account of proximity to home, and where else in Australia but the sporting capital, Melbourne?

Finally got opportunity to watch the Australian Open live after years of watching it on TV

Finally got the opportunity to watch the Australian Open live after years of watching it on TV

There is an impressive range of sport/health courses available at different schools in the city, and after careful research I quickly narrowed my choice down to Deakin on account of the flexible course structure, extensive facilities on a single campus, good reputation and the great location.

After careful research I quickly narrowed my choice down to Deakin on account of the flexible course structure, extensive facilities on a single campus, good reputation and the great location.

With regards to the course structure, one of the aspects that I really appreciated was the ability to choose from a wide range of subjects, units, timetables and so on which enable the students to basically design their own program to suit career aspirations. I was looking for a broad based qualification that offers me flexibility in career choice – both now and later in life – including teaching/coaching, physio, business, facility management, health and fitness counselling, and so on. I elected to take a major in nutrition, which is also a key interest for me and an area in which I expect to see significant growth in the not too distant future.

My course incorporates practical assessments that are done hands-on in an actual working laboratory setting which I very much enjoy, especially when we are able to use technical equipment in order to measure subject values on real life patients. I find having access to such equipment gives me a real taste of what it is like to conduct such tests and examinations as a professional and in real world settings, all under the guidance of the respected lecturers and demonstrators.

Conducting VO2 max tests in a practical in Deakins Sports Science laboratory

Conducting VO2 max tests in a practical at Deakin’s Sports Science laboratory

The international student visa allows up to 20 hours of work per week, which is quite generous and provides the opportunity to supplement my allowance. I did a number of short-term jobs last year, but I’ve made Year 2 my big year for study. My course load is pretty high and I’m studying full on (my choice of course), so I don’t have any time for wage earning work. In my third year I will have a lower course load and will try to get work that will complement my study program as a kind of on-the-job training, so that when I graduate I will already have the benefit of work experience.

Melbourne is a great place to live. The facilities, environment and recreation opportunities are world class. It’s very safe and so easy to get around with the MYKI card (MYKI card allows for travel on Melbourne’s public transport system). The population is cosmopolitan and very accommodating to all.

Whilst living in Melbourne I have joined the serious cycling fraternity and have made many good friends who are like-minded. I manage to get out every week to explore the city and beautiful countryside of Victoria, all of which are very biker-friendly of course – why not catch me on Instagram at “OHT27”?

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

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