Hi everyone! I’m Jerome, an international student from the Philippines. I am in my second year of studying a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) at the University of the Sunshine Coast: SouthBank campus. I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Management Accounting from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines back in 2012. I then worked for 6 years in the corporate world as a finance analyst.
A decision to further your studies at the master’s level is never an easy one. When you add studying abroad to that decision, which includes leaving your friends and family, you can imagine how difficult of a decision it is. So I did what any reasonable person would do when faced with a decision like this; I made a pros and cons list. It was close but going to Australia to study further might be one of the best decisions of my life.
The University of the Sunshine Coast offers a great experience for students. As I am studying at the SouthBank campus, I am going through a unique journey in my uni-life. As it is a smaller campus compared to others, the campus creates a close relationship among the students. Everyone will most likely come across each other. Student support for Academic Skills to Student Wellbeing is easily communicated and given. I can reach out to my lecturers and tutors with no trouble and they are more than happy to help me with any questions I have with my studies. The lecturers’ and tutors’ expertise in their field offers different points of views that help me become a better professional in my field.
While staying here I try to travel as much as I can. I’ve driven down to Sydney from Brisbane, a 1000+ kilometre drive. It’s the farthest I’ve driven in my life and it was amazing! Seeing the countryside of Queensland and New South Wales during winter was beautiful. I went hiking up Mount Ngungun, one of the famous Glasshouse Mountains in South East Queensland. Up there you can glimpse the Sunshine Coast to the north and Brisbane to the south. I also went snorkelling in a shipwreck off the coast of Moreton Island; you can see different kinds of fish swimming in the gaps of the wrecks. There are so many things to do in Australia and I can’t wait to try them while I’m here.
Studying abroad can be intimidating, particularly living in a country where I’m speaking a second language. But it is fulfilling as I am introduced to new people every day, new places and new experiences. In a diverse city such as Brisbane, I learn more about the world and its people. I get to know their cultures and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. In just a year of studying and staying away from home, I got to know myself as well. I taught myself to be more independent and to be more open to what life throws at me. Yes, I am here with a goal in mind but I can’t help stopping and appreciating the other things that studying abroad can offer me. All the knowledge and skills I’m learning here are definitely helping me become a better person.
If you have the opportunity to study in Australia or any other country, take it! Living in a different country will be one of your best decisions. You will become a whole better person with the things you learn. You will appreciate things differently and have a new outlook on life. Adventure awaits!