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At 21, Selena didn’t always call Canberra home. Originally born in Vietnam, Selena and her family of four left the country’s largest city when she was eight years old for a fresh start in our nation’s capital.
Now entering her fourth and final year of her Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Bachelor of Communication and Media (Corporate and Public Communication) at the University of Canberra (UC), Selena shares her story of growing up in Canberra, her experiences as a domestic student at UC with an international background, why studying a double degree was the right move for her, and her plans for the future.
Starting a new life in Australia
After leaving Ho Chi Minh City almost 14 years ago, Selena and her family put down roots in Australia. Having spent most of her schooling life in Canberra, she was clear on not wanting to leave the city in a hurry.
“Growing up in Canberra, I knew my path after year 12 was to enrol into a university here. This was the right decision for me as I did not want to leave my family and study in a whole new environment,” Selena shares.
When it came to choosing the best institution, Selena looked for a university that offered the right degree in her field of interest, and an education provider she believed would support her future career. Ultimately, that choice was the University of Canberra studying a double degree of Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Bachelor of Communication and Media (Corporate and Public Communication).
“I chose UC because it offered double degrees which I took great interest in compared to other universities. The degree I’m currently studying feels more fitted to my interests and who I am and the life path I want to end up on. My double degree was basically calling my name!” Selena shares.
“Having family members who have graduated from there influenced me to choose UC, too,” she reveals.
It also helped that UC was just down the road from Lake Ginninderra College where Selena graduated!
A love for Canberra
As a domestic student with an international background, Selena quickly found her place at UC. Not only as an institution that provides quality higher education with a range of courses, she acknowledges the students and teachers that make it a friendly environment to learn.
“What makes UC a welcoming place is that they celebrate different cultures throughout the year. This includes events, a social media presence, plus individuals of diverse backgrounds on campus and in class,” she says.
“I felt comfortable and ready to start my university experience. I like that it is not overwhelming and navigating around as a university student isn’t difficult. I felt as though I was prepared having grown up in Canberra, and I was more excited than anything in 2021 when I started university.”
Despite not being born in Australia, Selena has found a home in Canberra, and at UC.
“My favourite part of living in Canberra is that every place holds so many cherished memories for me having grown up here.”
“I recommend Canberra as a place to study because it is multicultural, and is immersed in history, art and entertainment. It’s a place for everyone,” Selena adds.
Setting Selena up for success
With three years of tertiary education under her belt, Selena is confident UC was the right decision to help her succeed in her future career.
“I trust my course has prepared me, and will continue to shape my knowledge as I finish up my last year at UC and step into the real-world workplace. Every unit I have taken is diverse. I have been challenged to not only think critically but also get creative and be confident with anything and everything I do,” she says.
And her study highlights? Selena credits setting clear goals and staying on top of her class work has been a focal point of her education.
“This mindset keeps me striving and prepared every semester. I feel that my course is preparing me by allowing me to get hands-on experience in my chosen field of work, which will be very beneficial,” Selena adds.
With just one more year of her studies to go, Selena is looking forward to completing her degrees and graduating by the end of 2024.
“I hope to enter a graduate position to kickstart my future. I would love to work in a corporate environment specialising in communications and marketing,” she says.
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.