Ganesh: Why choosing to study in Australia was the best decision I ever made
Sponsored by the Australian Government’s Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, Ganesh is currently researching for a PhD in climate change on wildlife species with USQ. Since the beginning of 2018 he has been enjoying life in Australia, living in Toowoomba with his family.
Deciding to study abroad is a big life decision and there are several factors to be considered when choosing the destination. Australia is the third-most popular destination for international students among English-speaking countries, after the United States and the United Kingdom.
In my opinion, Australia offers a wide range of opportunities to fulfil the dreams of international students.
In fact, the following are the five main reasons why I chose to make Australia the destination of my studying-abroad experience.
1. Quality education
It’s obvious that prospective students think about the academic standard of the university they are going to study at. While Australia has a relatively small number of universities compared to the USA and UK, the quality of education is equally as good. Australian universities are some of the top rated in the world, with seven universities ranking in the internationally-renowned top 100, according to QS World University Ranking (Top Universities, 2018).
Key strengths of Australian universities are known to include academic excellence, employer reputation, and international student ratio. Thus, the world-class education available at Australian universities was appealing for me when considering where to study my higher degree.
2. Incredible natural environments
Nature’s tranquillity is another factor that attracted me to Australia. Before coming to Australia, my imagination was filled with white sandy beaches, the Sydney Opera House, and a kangaroo. These were the only attractions I was familiar with from this country.
I have now realised that Australia is a wonderfully diverse country, which encompasses every type of landscape, from lush rainforests to dry deserts. Currently, there are 19 World Heritage Sites in Australia, including Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and the Greater Blue Mountains in NSW. For a beach lover like me, there are several pristine coasts to choose from and bush walking or kayaking are often achievable within a day trip from USQ Toowoomba.
Australia also hosts a diversity of wildlife species and, in most of the regional towns, it’s common to see some of these animals in the wild. In addition, there are plenty of national parks that offer close encounters with koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, rock-wallabies, and many more.
3. Cultural diversity and friendly people
Australia is considered a melting pot of cultures. It is one of the most culturally diverse nations in the world, with a large population of international students. This makes it a golden opportunity to interact with students from every corner of the globe.
This offers me the chance to step outside of my usual comfort zone to experience something new, and allows me to feel a sense of belonging in the multicultural setting. In addition, I feel comfortable being surrounded by very supportive and friendly Australians, who not only keep me company during good times but also care for me during challenging times.
4. International student support environment
I believe that the Australian Government has the most supportive policies regarding visas for international students’ families. Whilst applying for my student visa, I also applied for my family to accompany me to Australia. As such, my family can support me while I study in Australia and we don’t need to be apart. Not only can we have quality family time, but it means we are able to support one another and remain a family unit both emotionally and financially.
My children can also enjoy the Australian education system and gain exposure to friends from diverse backgrounds. On top of that, the Australian Government also encourages graduates, who are eligible for the Temporary Graduate Visa, to stay/work in Australia after successfully completing their study.
5. Research opportunities and scholarships
Besides academic merits, Australian universities are well-known for outstanding research, excelling in areas including humanities, education and sciences. Australia is a proud contributor to global research, credited for many significant discoveries, such as penicillin, ultrasounds, and the black box flight recorder. Australia has several universities and research centres that are equipped with outstanding research facilities. This all attracted me to do my PhD at an Australian university.
Additionally, the Australian Government offers several full and partial scholarships to international students for their studies at Australian universities. These scholarships include the Australia Award Scholarship, the Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, and the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. I am lucky to have been granted the Australian Government’s scholarships to do a master’s as well as PhD. Many universities also provide a range of scholarships to international students; however, you need to meet certain eligibility criteria to get selected for the scholarship as these are merit-based scholarships.
Based on the above, I am very satisfied with my decision of choosing Australia as a destination country for my higher studies. It’s indeed the best decision I have ever made – for myself and for my family.
If you’re thinking about studying in Australia, discover 7 exciting reasons you should, and find out why USQ is for you. To apply to study at USQ, visit the USQ international website.
Top Universities. 2018. QS World University Rankings, 2018, retrieved from https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2018.