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10/11/2022 | Student stories
When Darshan Shelat moved to Australia from Ahmedabad in Western India, he knew that Canberra was the place for him.
Now pursuing a Master of Information Technology and Systems at the University of Canberra (UC), Darshan is thrilled that he’s been able to explore Australia’s capital city while receiving a world-class education and getting hands-on workplace experience.
We spoke to Darshan about his reasons for choosing Canberra, what it’s like studying at UC and his plans for the future.
When Darshan decided to move to Australia, he knew that he wanted to avoid the hustle and bustle of a larger city.
“Coming from a quiet hometown, I was pretty sure that Sydney and Melbourne would never be a good place for me. Canberra is…similar to the place that I come from, but with less people, less traffic and more diverse surroundings.”
When exploring his options for universities and education institutes, Darshan was particularly drawn to the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) units that UC offers.
“UC has a much higher WIL placement ratio in comparison to other universities in the same state. On top of that, UC offered me a good scholarship, which made it easier financially.”
Darshan was awarded the UC International Merit Scholarship, recognising him for his academic excellence.
Darshan loves living in Canberra and has enjoyed exploring the city while studying at UC.
“Arboretum and Lake Burley [Griffin] are both gems in Canberra. I also fancy Lake Tuggeranong because when I first arrived, I stayed in Greenway for two weeks. Molly and Pizza Gusto are my go-to places, and I often swing by Belconnen Labour Club as well.”
Canberra also has a packed events calendar, so there’s always something fun to do, from cultural festivals to the food markets that are held most weekends.
Darshan speaks highly of his time at UC, and he has particularly enjoyed the practical focus that the university places on learning.
“UC provides various WIL offerings that can help an individual land a job easily,” he shares. “I even have a few friends who got full-time IT jobs before graduating.”
This year, Darshan has even had the opportunity to take on an internship at an IT firm in Victoria.
“I’m currently enrolled in a penetration testing internship, where I perform web, network and mobile penetration testing on client products.”
In addition to academic opportunities, Darshan has enjoyed participating in the social aspects of university life.
“UC holds heaps of events in O-Week and during the semester to increase student engagement. I have volunteered as a UC student mentor and at a campus consultancy event. It’s been a good way to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds,” says Darshan.
“I also recently got a chance to be on a panel discussion for sex, relationship and gender,” he adds. “Something is always happening on the campus, and it's always benefitting you in some way.”
Darshan also works part-time at the university, which gives him valuable workplace experience while also allowing him to give back to the student community.
“I currently work in two departments at UC. The first is as a student services officer at the student centre building, where I deal with students’ administrative queries and provide them solutions,” he explains. “The second is as a UC student ambassador in the domestic student recruitment team. I found these jobs in my early days in Canberra from the CareerHub website.”
Alongside his paid work, Darshan also volunteers in UC’s curriculum committee as a postgraduate student representative and even manages to find the time to teach guitar to students around Canberra.
After graduation, Darshan plans to stay in Canberra. He has been preparing for this exciting next step into his future career with the careers team at UC.
“UC Careers helped me tailor my resume and made it job-ready. I will be graduating soon, and I will hopefully land a full-time job in IT.”
Darshan’s advice to other international students is to consider studying in Canberra and at UC.
“If you are someone who prefers a quiet and peaceful study time, and don't mind kangaroos hopping around campus, then UC is definitely a good place to be,” he says.
“UC can help an individual change their life. It’s not only the education you get while studying at UC, but getting to be near nature and getting to enjoy the Canberra lifestyle.”
UC acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, traditional custodians of the lands where Bruce campus is situated. We wish to acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of Canberra and the region. We also acknowledge all other First Nations Peoples on whose lands we gather.