Sri Lankan student Leesa ‘inspired’ to pursue Medicine

Flinders Medicine Student


Sri Lankan student Leesa Fernando was inspired to pursue a career in medicine after a formative experience with a family member. “The reason I decided to go down the Medicine path was because of a significant experience with my grandmother,” Leesa explains. “My grandma suffered a stroke and was admitted to the hospital.”

A scary and traumatic moment for her family was mitigated by the excellent care and assistance of the doctors and staff.

“The way the members of the medical team interacted with my grandmother and my family amazed me.”

A career path emerges

After witnessing their remarkable actions, Leesa took on work experience, to better understand the careers available. “I got to see many different interesting procedures ranging from cataract surgeries to by-pass surgery.” This confirmed medicine was the right path for the future doctor.

Discover more about our Bachelor of Clinical Science and Doctor of Medicine – here.

“I love that medicine allows me to help people, just like my grandmother, and to make a difference in someone’s life.” Right now, she is in the first year of “…studying an undergraduate degree which consists of two years of Bachelor of Clinical Science and four years of Doctor of Medicine (BCS/MD)”. A BCS/MD will get Leesa career-ready with a combination of theory and hands-on experience from day one.

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Adelaide lifestyle

Leesa knew she wanted to study in Adelaide, because of the lifestyle it would afford her. “It is a very peaceful city with a variety of different things to do. For example, you could go to many of the nearby beaches to relax, and if you are lucky you will be able to see dolphins!”

As well as enjoying all the activities and natural wonders of Adelaide, Leesa appreciates that Adelaide makes her daily life easier. “Transportation and food in Adelaide are very affordable.” Some of the many reasons Adelaide is one of the top ten most livable cities in the world*. But, Leesa says, “…the best part about Adelaide is the people who live here – they are very friendly.”

Flinders University experience

“Flinders was the right choice because it was very welcoming,” Leesa says. “All the lecturers are very approachable and friendly.” The international student also enjoys the beautiful Bedford Park campus, with acres of green space and access to a forest walking path.

Flinders Bedford Park Campus

“It’s very pleasing to the eye with the never-ending greenery, and nothing can beat the view of the sea from the campus,” she says. As well as appreciating the culture and natural space, Leesa has been making the most of the great facilities for study.

“The student hub has a very comfortable environment to focus on studying and connect with friends,” she observes, “while the library has an impressive number of books.” These easy to access, friendly and well-designed spaces mean that Leesa can take her pick of different environments to study in each day. Whether that be a bustling and lively common area, or a quiet and peaceful nook.

Flinders University Bedford Park campus
Bedford Park Campus


Leesa is looking forward to her placements so she can gain more hands-on experience. First-year students start with observations at Flinders Medical Centre, as well as practical labs, which has given Leesa a sense of her career options. “My favourite aspect of the second semester is the modern chemistry unit because I get to design my own experiment and carry it out!”

Discover Adelaide’s metropolitan beaches and ways to keep cool in summer – here.

Leesa has also taken an interest in the physiology of the eye, after observing a cataract surgery, a field she’d like to explore further. “In five years, I will be doing placements and graduating,” she says. “The learning experience at Flinders has been very interesting, incorporating the theory into practical applications.” BCS/MD students are based within the Flinders Medical Centre for much of their degree, giving students like Leesa authentic, patient-centered clinical experiences from early on in their studies.

Advice for future students

Leesa was struck by how friendly Flinders is, for her and her fellow international students. “Studying at flinders has been the best decision I’ve ever made because they are very welcoming of international students.”

She’s also found it easy to settle in because Flinders is a genuinely diverse university.

“I’ve encountered so many people from different countries, which helps you feel secure because you are not alone.” For future students, Leesa suggests taking advantage of all the opportunities to meet new people. “There are many different types of clubs you can join to connect with people from the country that you are from,” she explains, “But you would also benefit from meeting new people, and interacting with different cultures.”

For Leesa, the friends, campus, courses, and culture combine to contribute to improving her study life and wellbeing.“Flinders is the best place to focus on your studies.”

Are you ready to start your inspiring career in medicine? Talk to our friendly Flinders International team now by clicking here –  contact us. No matter where you are in the world, you can join us online now, and on-campus later, we’re happy to discuss your options. Liked this? Hear from Sri Lankan Business student Mahoshadi De Silva – here.
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