Clemence Mataruse from Zimbabwe studying a Master of Professional Accounting at USC SouthBank
My journey to Brisbane, Australia started in June of 2018 with a simple visit to the Koala Education Centre (my agency) in Eastlea, Harare, Zimbabwe. A friendly staff member (Kundai) sat down with me for a good consultation where I was given all the information I needed to get ready, and all the documents required for my application. Furthermore, she gave me various information about different institutions, their advantages and disadvantages, and also how coming to Australia and what it includes as opposed to other countries, which was a very good thing. Choosing The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) was a no brainer as I have an aunt who graduated from USC and she told me about its level of excellence.
Before coming to USC, I had studied an undergraduate degree from the University of Namibia in Banking and Finance back in 2016. Today, I am based at the USC SouthBank campus. Upon my arrival at USC in February of 2019 to study the two-year Master of Professional Accounting, I found the institution to be astoundingly superior to my former institution. My campus is in the heart of Brisbane itself, right in the middle of the city. SouthBank is the entertainment hub for the Brisbane CBD with various well-known spots, including the famous Wheel of Brisbane and Brisbane river that runs through the city.
I had visited some universities in Africa for comparison purposes, but USC was beyond measure. The facilities are exceptional and unlike the institution where I studied my undergraduate degree with 150 students in one classroom, USC has sometimes less than 30 students in each classroom which gives the lectures and students proper interaction to provide a personal experience in the learning environment. The study experience has been good, simple and direct. A combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises are used, including the use of an accounting software called Xero which is not available in Africa. This combination gives direct knowledge to prepare us for work upon graduation, which is exactly what employers are looking for. On a personal note, I am the only African in my class of 30, with most of my classmates coming from Nepal and India. One from the Philippines, two from Pakistan, and an exchange student from Germany thus creating a diverse group of people. This gives me pride to represent not just my country but the continent as a whole.
Traveling to Brisbane, Australia was a great experience for me as I had never left the African continent. It was and still is a great eye-opening experience to see the world from a different perspective. The differences in culture, society, advancement and development are things I thank God for every day as well for His guidance and protection.
Apart from the academic side of my experience, Brisbane is an amazing place to be; it is regarded as a great tourist city of Australia with perfect weather and great scenery. I created a proper school, work and life balance. I got my job within a month of my arrival, which I still have to date, and it helps pay for bills and even helps out my family back home. I love the transport system very much as it is efficient and reliable. Most days I have 8am classes, so my day starts bright and early. Furthermore, after classes I am off to work, all by using the public transport system. I have visited places such as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, and travelled as far as Winton, a small town 1500km away from Brisbane. The town is famous for the founding of Qantas, Australia’s national airline, and also a dinosaur museum.
To all future students, I would advise them to do thorough research on the different aspects of studies and places they want to go. The decision impacts their lives forever, and time lost can never be gained. Follow your heart and passion, and don’t look at what the world says.
I am very grateful that I got this amazing opportunity to study in Australia and I am thankful to my wife and son for all the encouragement and support, as they are still back home, and my family who sponsored and helped me to experience this legendary time. I am looking forward to my life journey with all this experience being bestowed upon me.