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Australia Awards students farewell UC

Amy Stevenson

7 January 2019: Fourteen of the brightest Australia Awards scholarship students have farewelled the University of Canberra, following their graduation at the end of 2018.

During a special ceremony in November, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Associate Vice-President, Students, Partnerships and International Professor Lawrence Pratchett presented the students, who travelled from all over the world to study at UC, with special certificates to mark the end of their studies.

Tshering Dekar, who completed a Master of Professional Accounting, said while it took some time adjusting to student life in Australia, she made life-long friends out of the experience.

“When I first came here, I felt quite out of place, I was studying after 10 years and the feeling was overwhelming because I had to start being a student all over again and it’s been a long time,” she said.

Other students came from Cambodia, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, and Vietnam, and Tshering believed her time to be just as much as a cultural exchange, as it was to further her studies.

“We met so many friends. They were from all walks of life and from different countries – so it was more like a cultural exchange too. It was like a global village feeling, and that’s something I’ll miss about UC,” she added.

“I’m happy I’ll be taking back so many memories and I have friends all over world that will be friends for life, and we will be able to help out each other professionally in the future.”

Other students completed degrees in a Master of Nutrition and Dietetics, Master of Education Studies, Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Management, Master of Communication, Master of Education Studies, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Information Technology, and a Master of Information Technology and Systems.

And while Canberra, and UC, may be thousands of kilometres from Tshering’s home in Bhutan, she was still reminded of her home country while studying at the university.

“Canberra reminds me of home. I thought maybe it would be like Sydney or Melbourne, so that was my perception, but when I came here it was quiet and very peaceful, and I felt like I was in Bhutan and that made it feel like home.”

The Australia Awards are international scholarships and fellowships funded by the Australian Government. The awards offer high-achieving students from around the world the opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.

It is aimed at enabling the recipients to contribute to the long-term development needs of their home countries.

There are 26 Australia Awards students currently studying at the University of Canberra, while another 11 are expected to commence in Semester One 2019.

For more information on the Australia Awards visit our website.