We have our first official Flinders International student arrival! Korean Bachelor of Nursing student Hyunyong Lee is out of quarantine and has landed summer-ready after arriving back in Adelaide nine days ago. “I’m feeling fantastic. I’ve been waiting two years for this,” says the returned student.
In 2020, with only his final semester to go before finishing his degree, Hyunyong was devastated when the arrival of COVID-19 meant he found himself stuck at home in Korea, unable to return to Australia.
“As it’s a nursing degree, of course, there are elements that you have to do face-to-face. Placements, practicals. That sort of thing.”
Hyunyong admits it was a tough road to get back to Australia. Not only because of the border shutdowns and shifting government advice, but also, the challenge of the unknown.
“I didn’t know if I was going to get back, or when I could finish my degree. It was very frustrating mentally.”
Incredible student support
The support from Flinders staff was vital for him in staying connected to the uni, his degree, and his future.
“I fully appreciated all the support International Student Services (ISS) provided me. They not only helped me get back to Adelaide and Flinders in time to attend my placement – they seriously helped me throughout the two years of my pandemic absence,” he says.
“The ISS team were always quick to respond to any questions I had. It was very reassuring.”
Though taxing, the pandemic-enforced break was certainly not all doom and gloom for Hyunyong.
“You know, it was funny – the time away from my degree gave me a unique opportunity,” says the nursing student. “I had time to carefully consider my choice (of degree), and what I wanted in my life and career.”
A renewed sense of purpose and clarity was the result.
“I realised I had made the right choice in my Nursing degree and future career. It was a powerful moment.”
Although keen to visit the Adelaide beaches, national parks, and the many tourist locations South Australia has to offer, Hyunyong plans to bed down and do some serious study over the summer.
“I’m going to refresh myself on what I learned in my first year, so I’m prepared when uni returns. I want to be ready for anything.”
Join us on campus for a vibrant, face-to-face learning experience
Flinders Vice-President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor International, Sebastian Raneskold is personally thrilled to be able to welcome students back on campus.
“It’s fantastic that Australia has opened its borders for international student visa holders. This is the news we have wanted to hear for a long time,” says Sebastian.
“International students are an important part of Australia’s rich social fabric, and they contribute to our university in making it a friendly, fun, and vibrant place. We are very excited to welcome our students back to campus – as soon as possible.”
Flinders University is one of the few universities in Australia that has remained open for students and for in-person, on-campus study through COVID-19.
“Students at Flinders have been able to continue their face-to-face learning throughout the pandemic, as Flinders has always maintained an open campus – unlike many other Australian universities.”
For nursing students like Hyunyong who are required to do face-to-face, this is welcome news.
“To those of you in your home countries, I very much look forward to you joining us in the coming months in 2022,” says Sebastian. “Rest assured you have joined a safe and caring community as your new home away from home.”
With the all-clear to freely enjoy the cracking Adelaide summer, Hyunyong will take time to enjoy the delights of South Australia before heading back to campus in February to finish his degree. “After two years of uncertainty I’m finally here in Australia, ready to finish my studies,” says Hyunyong.
“ISS and Flinders truly came through for me. I’m so happy to be back, I can’t put into words what it means.”
Welcome back students – we’ve missed you! – The Flinders International Team