Choosing a degree that would occupy three years of my life was a big decision. What I liked about nursing was how fast-paced it could be – so a typical day at the office could be an adrenaline-filled, challenging and vibrant affair. It is also an interesting field that could be tailored in order to make it more relevant to an my own interests, and switching fields is reasonably simple. More importantly, nursing is a noble profession, so it follows that those who pursue it are well-respected and valued members of society. Therefore after a lot of thought, I decided to study nursing. It would give me the ability to save a life and skills that can be useful to everyday scenarios, making myself an asset to my family and society as a whole.
What equally mattered was selecting the best university, meeting my expectations to become a well-equipped, internationally recognised nurse. After a lot of research and brainstorming, I selected Deakin University. This was because it holds world-class facilities, a network of academic supervisors who are leaders in their fields, international rankings and a global reputation. I was fortunate to be awarded the Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship, which includes participation in the Deakin Vice Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Program (VCPEP). Here I met other like-minded, high achieving students at Deakin and received high academic and financial support, which further motivated me to aim higher.
Deakin for international students
Being an international student in a foreign country was challenging and exciting at the same time. Surprisingly, Deakin was no stranger to students like us. From day one, Deakin makes sure international students are well oriented and provides plenty of support available throughout the course duration. I was surprised to see how many international students like me come to study at Deakin every year. It was quite a relief for me to meet new international students as I am, with similar excitement, the same fears, and the same expectations. And up until today, more than half of my friends in Australia are those I met at the orientation program across different faculties.
Studying nursing at Deakin
Nursing I experienced in Australia was completely different from what I have seen in Sri Lanka. I was impressed from the very beginning to see the sophisticated clinical practice labs and the level of education Deakin provided for the nursing students. Seminars were interactive, and lecturers were very supportive and friendly. Each student was given an opportunity to practice clinical procedures in and out of lecture hours.
One of the most challenging things for me was to start my first hospital placement. I was very nervous as that was the first time for me visiting a hospital in Australia. But I was given a good induction by Deakin and by the hospital. All the nurses I used to work with up until today were very kind and friendly. There are clinical educators to help you around throughout the placement period, and there are special supervisors sent by Deakin to check up on the international students. I always felt I’ve been well looked after by them, which built my confidence to adjust to the Australian workforce.
Present and future
I graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing degree at Deakin in 2018. My Deakin graduation was one of the most glorious events I have ever attended. Soon after completion of the degree, I was selected to do the Bachelor of Nursing (Honours) degree at Deakin, and I’m just weeks away from graduating for the second time. Currently, I’m working as a Registered Nurse.
And whenever someone asks me who I want to be, my honest answer is I don’t know. Because there are endless possibilities of being a nurse, and I don’t want to fix myself in one place. The advantage of studying at a prestigious university like Deakin is that when one door closes, several other doors are opened for you. And I’m so much hoping to continue studying further at Deakin in future. There are endless options and possibilities if you keep reaching your goals. And if you want to do it right, Deakin is the smartest option for nursing.