Studying in Australia: A passport to the future

I am Hiago from Brazil, and I studied abroad at Deakin University in Australia.

Lots of questions came to my mind when I decided to do an exchange program in Australia. How far is away is Australia? What is the typical food? What about the weather? Do people really ride kangaroos? But what I really did not know, is that my year abroad would be the best year of my life!

When I was halfway through my bachelor’s degree in Brazil, I had the opportunity to study abroad thanks to sponsorship through a Brazilian Government scholarship. At first, I had thought about studying in Portugal because it is a country where Portuguese is spoken, which would be an easier transition as my English was not that good. However, the scholarship I received also included the opportunity to complete a language course in any country that I chose to go. Thus, fortunately I was able to choose Australia.

Enjoying my week off at the Great Ocean Road

Enjoying my week off at the Great Ocean Road

As I said before, my English was not good at first. So, I started at Deakin University by completing an English language course. I began in the elementary English course at the Deakin University English Language Institute (DUELI) and after 35 weeks I graduated from the advanced English program. It was amazing how I reached an advanced level in such a short time, as it would have taken years to reach the same level if I had of taken the English course in Brazil. I am grateful to DUELI and to the teachers who gave me all the necessary support.

I am grateful to DUELI and to the teachers who gave me all the necessary support.

By completing the advanced English course (EAP4) at DUELI I received a direct entry pathway to Deakin University, where I completed a trimester studying Architecture at the beautiful Geelong Waterfront campus in regional Victoria. Before starting the architecture program, I participated in a relaxing three-day Beach Welcome Program. It was an incredible experience, where I had the opportunity to meet other international students who were commencing at Deakin.

Surf lesson in The Beach Welcome Program.

Taking surf lessons as part of the Deakin University Beach Welcome Program

Studying architecture at Deakin opened my mind to new study methods. I learned how to design for different environments from my home country. I studied about Australian and Asian architecture, both of which I consider very interesting, but are rarely explored in my country. I also had experiences with self-sufficient projects relating to energy, heating, water supply and waste disposal buildings. These learnings were fundamental towards my current professional practice in Brazil.

After Deakin, I also had the opportunity to publish two papers in the proceedings of international conferences. The Deakin learning experiences helped me to achieve these goals.

Currently I’m back to Brazil. I’m working as an architecture trainee at a large company in the construction industry. Here, I have used the knowledge gained at Deakin in developing sustainable buildings.

Next year I am looking forward to going back to Deakin to complete the Master of Architecture program. I have been interested in taking this course for some time, and I plan to focus my studies towards performance-measured sustainable design. I look forward to being part of the Deakin student community again and can’t wait to meet you all there next year!

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

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