‘Learning to unlearn’ has been a key lesson in my journey so far as a second year Master of Communication student at Deakin University.
Returning to the classroom after several years of working as a public relations practitioner, I had to prepare myself, both mentally and physically. I had to ‘unlearn’ old ways and habits of doing things in order to learn and adopt new and better ideas.
Coming from a small developing island nation, living and learning in Australia is what I would describe as a life-changing experience. This opportunity was made possible when I got selected for the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarship.
I first heard about the Australia Awards program while studying for my Bachelor of Arts degree in Fiji. At that time, I wondered what it would feel like to study in Australia. Little did I know that a couple of years later, this would become a reality.
Applying for the Australia Awards scholarship wasn’t a clear-cut decision. Leaving an established career did not seem very practical. However, my desire to continuously improve was my main motivation to return to studies. I was also greatly inspired by my time working at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (now called the Australia-Pacific Training Coalition) where I had witnessed how an Australian qualification can transform lives. I was pretty convinced this was the road I wanted to take.
And I have not regretted it. This award has certainly propelled me to work harder. It has not only given me the opportunity to explore new heights but has helped me discover new things about myself.
Studying what I love at a world class institution like Deakin University is a real bonus. The facilities, teachers and academic programs are unrivalled. Upon my arrival here, I was anxious about how everything would turn out, but my fears were laid to rest. From getting started, to finding a place to stay, there is always support available at Deakin.
Like any international student, settling into a new country is challenging. But one of good things about Australia is the opportunity to study while enjoying a great lifestyle. I believe some of your best memories can be made outside the classroom.
In my free time, I love exploring more of Australia, having coffee with friends and playing soccer. I have found that being part of the clubs at Deakin is a good way to connect with people. If you are new to Australia, I would recommend going to a footy match (but try knowing a bit about the sport first).
This year, I will be undertaking a professional internship. I can’t wait to put my skills and knowledge into action. Hopefully, I can put the new ideas and strategies I pick up in Australia to use in my country. I am positive my qualification will help unlock doors for me to be a future leader in the media and communications industry.
My long-term vision is to be able to serve my country. I am keen to apply my skills and knowledge in areas where communication can help in the economic and social development of people in developing countries.
I encourage others like me to rise to new heights and continue to improve. Who knows, you may be part of your own ‘learning to unlearn’ journey.