It was a fantastic opportunity and degree that lured Indian student Sai Manoj from his home in Bengaluru, India to Adelaide, South Australia.
Already an established businessman and engineer, the chance to further his education with a Flinders University MBA — 8335+ kilometres away from home — was initially an overwhelming prospect.
“Choosing to study overseas or in a different place can be daunting — and life-changing,” says Sai. “So in the first few months, I was obviously intimidated. You know it’s a different country, different culture.”
Yet upon arrival to Flinders University, Sai’s experience of the Adelaide community relieved him of any fears.
“People in Adelaide are really friendly. I can actually stick my neck out and say that they are very upfront and willing to help you. There have been occasions when even the bus drivers have gone out of their way to help me out and guide me across the city.”
Sai began postgraduate studies in 2018 as the inaugural winner of the Flinders University BW Business World Scholarship, launched in 2017 at the Australian High Commission in Delhi.
It’s not just the people that have helped Sai to settle into his adopted home — he has found the culture, warm welcome and beautiful scenery have captured his heart.
“Adelaide is a great place to be in and experience Australia in its truest sense. If you are a nature lover you’ll love the great beaches and the hills. I particularly love how easy it is to get around in the city, and how it celebrates art and culture. Not to mention the great food — and the world’s best wine gets made here!”
To Sai, the relatively cheaper cost of living (compared to other capital cities in Australia) is a massive boon for studying in Adelaide. “As a student, it is important for you to consider the cost of living in the city and the availability of resources and access to public transport.”
Adelaide offers a wide range of public transport including buses, trains and tram networks – with some free transport available in the city centre.
The positive experience extends to the University.
“The class cohort is truly diverse with people from all walks of life and a healthy balance of international students. This makes for a great classroom environment which is incredibly diverse through which you get a lot of new perspectives and insights from your counterparts from all over the world!”
But what about the degree itself?
“The quality of education is top notch and the teachers are highly qualified with vast experience in their domains, bringing a wealth of information and knowledge into the classrooms. They are very inline and in touch with the industry and have designed the whole curriculum accordingly.”
Flinders’ reputation for innovation and progressive thinking stretched to India, where Sai was impressed with the career-minded approach to teaching.
“I chose Flinders in particular for its MBA – they have their own startup incubator cell, known as the New Venture Institute studio. They are ranked number one in all of Asia Pacific for their incubator program. So that’s a big deal for the University if you ask me because they have spent a lot of money and they are quite serious about this whole startup culture.”
An important aspect of the MBA program, the NVI aims to provide students with an innovation and entrepreneurial experience – embedding a culture of enterprise.
“I hope to combine my knowledge in engineering and working experience with my MBA program to come up with innovative ideas and business opportunities.”
It’s the combination of a rewarding degree, student focussed learning and a safe (yet exciting) city which has led to a truly happy international student experience for Sai. To Indian students who are considering studying at Flinders University, but are nervous about the move?
“Oh, I would highly recommend them to consider Flinders! I’ve made a lot of friends – it’s a very nice place to be.”