“Like a new pair of spectacles,” is how international student Amalia Dwi Susanti describes her experience studying Public Health at Flinders University. “I am using a new lens to see health problems from multiple perspectives.”
A trained GP in Indonesia, Amalia worked professionally for five years at the National Population and Family Planning Board for the Indonesian Government.
“As a GP, I often worked in a biomedical framework. But there is a growing interest in preventative medicine in Indonesia which began to challenge the ways I was working.”
Progressive postgraduate learning
Amalia won a study abroad scholarship, which allowed her to move to Adelaide and undertake her Masters in Public Health at Flinders.
“One of the things I most enjoy about this international student experience is the interactivity of lectures. This is such a different learning experience to my Bachelor’s degree which involved a lot of memorising; here I am being trained in critical thinking.”
The differences in education style have opened a world of fresh perspectives for Amalia.
“Our lecturers provide us with a broad theoretical base and then we are expected to read more and research different ways of applying that theory to practice. It’s challenging, but also very rewarding.”
Living in Adelaide
The challenges and rewards came through in other areas too.
“When I first came to Adelaide of course I was a bit hesitant. It’s not easy being in a new culture with a different language and different customs,” Amalia says, recollecting her early days. “But you soon realise that things aren’t impossible.”
It helps that her chosen city is a calm environment.
“I am so glad I chose to study in Adelaide. I live in the suburbs, close to campus and it’s beautiful and peaceful: perfect for studying. I can see a lot of wildlife around the area – lots of different birds, and the occasional koala.” Wildlife aside, it’s fair to say the Flinders community has provided a welcoming home away from home for Amalia.
International student support
“I’ve gone to multicultural dinners, joined discussion groups on cultural beliefs, taken up free yoga classes, and even gone to public speaking workshops. I’ve also joined a mentoring program that has paired me up with a PhD student who helps me a lot and provides great guidance for my studies.”
Amalia has found her time at Flinders to be an overwhelmingly positive life experience.
“The University’s support system has been great. There are lots of activities that I can be a part of and meet new friends from other countries. I now have friends from all over the world!”
Amalia has advice for international students thinking of taking the plunge and studying overseas.
“The best lesson I’ve learnt is that you need to move from your comfort zone and try new things in order to grow.”
Ready to step outside your comfort zone and study in Australia? Get in touch with one of our friendly team today, and discover how you can go beyond with a degree from Flinders University.
Looking for something different? Check out fellow postgraduate student Inderjit Singh’s story.