Flinders is the ‘perfect choice’ for Nigerian Master of Public Health student, Precious Farounbi. After completing an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, she stumbled across the WHO (World Health Organisation) job site.
“I got so interested in the work WHO does, I decided to study Public Health,” she says. “I am interested in working with NGOs (non-government organisations) and I’ve always wanted to work in the health field.”
Why choose to study at Flinders University?
Public Health is a field that deals with global health issues encompassing a wide range of disciplines; from hygiene and disease control to violence, abuses, and environmental hazard protection.
“This course looks at different social determinants, solutions, policies, and limitations that affect populations,” says Precious.
“Public Health involves understanding social factors – among other factors – that affect the health of the population. For example; the rate of infant mortality in Nigeria. We critically discuss the causes, solutions, and affected population.”
For Precious, it was important to her that her course covered off a general range. The Flinders Master of Public Health was the perfect fit, matching her career ambitions.
“Flinders happened to be the perfect choice because of the course structure. Other universities I researched, I had to study a specific area of Public Health but Flinders has a general structure,” says Precious. “This course goes in-depth into the basic amenities such as water and housing and how they affect overall health; it encompasses a whole range of in-depth knowledge I did not know about from previous studies.”
Living in Adelaide
Precious knew she wanted to study in Australia, “I needed the environmental change for my growth and Australia is a good place to be,” she says. “I decided to study in Adelaide because not only is it affordable, it also has nice scenery, and great food.” Her favourite indulgence is heading to Glenelg beach to treat herself.
“I like to go to the Royal Copenhagen ice cream shop, get some waffles, and eat them right on the beach!”
Just a 17-minute drive from campus, Glenelg is one of Adelaide’s main metropolitan beaches. With a range of restaurants, activities, and a patrolled swimming beach, it is easily accessed by public transport and is a favourite haunt of locals and visitors alike.
Flinders campus and facilities
It’s not just the gorgeous beaches, landscape, and food scene that appeals to Precious, she loves the natural environment on campus too. “Flinders Bedford Park Campus is the perfect backdrop for taking pictures,” she says. “There is so much light, space, and greenery.”
Located 12km south of the city of Adelaide, Bedford Park is Flinders’ main campus. It’s a spacious, elevated site with panoramic views to the coast and over the city. With its lake and natural leafy surroundings, it is one of South Australia’s most spectacular natural campuses. Don’t be surprised to see resident ducks, koalas, and the occasional kangaroo.
Precious loves the Student Hub, with its 24/7 study spaces and access to all student services in one convenient location. “I love good structures and it is always a key for me if I am going to be comfortable in an environment,” she says. “The library is so comfortable for studying. There are vending machines for a quick bite and a semi-kitchen in the Hub – no more cold food! I can eat and take breaks until I am ready to go back to it.”
The learning environment at Flinders has helped Precious to improve in all aspects of her studies, with measurable results. “My learning experience has been great,” she says.
“I have seen myself improve over the semester from the way I write up my essays; and the teamwork and presentation done in class have been helpful, pushing me out of my comfort zone.”
There’s always more room to adapt and grow, but for Precious, “…every aspect of the study has been a good experience, especially when it was time to check my assignment grades!”
Precious participated in the international student based exhibition In the Frame: Stories of International empowerment. Students were invited to share their experiences of moving to and living in Australia.
The high-quality academic and teaching staff have been a particular highlight.
“The lecturers are one of a kind – there is nothing like a student asking too many questions. They are always willing to help and pass the message across until it is understood. I for one, hate asking questions because it makes me look like I was less attentive or not too smart but that has totally changed. With my lecturers, I never have to pull back and I always ask away.”
Precious is proactively taking advantage of every opportunity to advance her future career in Public Health.
“My major goal is to work with the World Health Organization – which is really big,” she says.
“I have started volunteering with the Australian Refugees Association (ARA) and with the Australian Red Cross – while still looking for other suitable places. I am taking baby steps until I am qualified to work with WHO and other NGOs. In five years, I definitely would have achieved the goal.”
Her advice for fellow international students considering studying in Australia at Flinders University?
“Academically, Flinders is of a high standard, the teaching is top-notch with the lecturers and staff willing to help as much as they can.” Precious has always felt safe and welcomed at Flinders, in both the classroom and the campus as a whole.
“Informally – Flinders is so chill, you really need to go there.”
Looking for something different? Check out fellow Public Health student Amalia Dwi Suasanti’s story here.