I am Keiru Montesclaros, Filipino, currently enroled in the Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University – Casuarina Campus as a first-year student.
Why did you want to study overseas? Why CDU?
There are a lot of opportunities offered from various countries overseas. Hence, I grabbed this chance to try and see for myself if I would be able to endure it all in achieving my life goals. Aside from it, I have family relatives ready to accommodate the duration of my study in Darwin. Not only that, but Darwin is also known for its welcoming multicultural community; and its beautiful beaches and sceneries. And among the universities in Australia, I have chosen Charles Darwin University (CDU) for my academic pursuit.
The reason being is because, not only for its reputation, I believe CDU will help me achieve my full potential and graduate with excelling and professional qualities, fully prepped for my respective career environment.
Why did you choose your current program?
There are many contributing factors to why I chose to be a nursing student. Still, One of the main ones is because I want to help people ease their pains away, especially if one of them were my family, and serve them with the best patient care indiscriminately. The main inspiration I went for nursing was my grandaunt, a former doctor herself. She gave me a set of playable medical equipment for kids, which motivated me in the medical field.
How was your study journey at CDU International College?
The International Foundation Studies program helped me firm my decision and continue pursuing my life goal as a nurse and a medical enthusiast. They were efficient in imparting knowledge and helping us develop and improve the fundamental skills needed in transitioning to a different learning environment and surroundings. Their teachings were concise and easy to understand, which helped me attain a relatively high overall grade. Furthermore, we practised engagement and sharing activities which allowed us to identify the extent of our learnings in each module.
What makes you decide to study overseas during Covid?
Amidst the difficulties brought by the pandemic, entering Darwin was one of my goals pre-CoVID-19 restrictions to extend my knowledge and acquire new experiences in a different setting. So, I just pushed through my goals when I learned that the borders were open.
I am primarily thrilled about coming to class because I missed the feeling of physical classes and vibe with classmates. Moreover, throughout two-year online courses, I can say that I am not used to it and probably had lower knowledge retention and teacher-student engagement than physical ones.
Can you share with us your recent journey coming(back) to Australia from your home country?
The journey I experienced when I went to Australia was a rollercoaster of emotions and new and fun-filled experiences. It was never easy to leave the place where you were born and grew up with your family and friends. Thus, I have had to prepare for it and move forward with it if I want to achieve the goals I set in life. On the contrary, I had lots of fun having a layover in Singapore, meeting some friends and clearing out my thoughts.
How are you finding the learning experience on campus?
On-campus learning at CDU is relatively new to me and unique; it does feel different from where I came from; nonetheless, the lessons and discussions are substantial and educational. Also, our facilitators/teachers are very helpful and approachable. You can feel their full support and guidance; ask anything kindly, and they will provide an answer if possible.
Can you describe your everyday schedule?
There has been not much of an everyday plan for me unless I have to go to campus and the library to continue my studies. Usually, when I have a class for the day, I do not go home immediately. Instead, I go to the library to consolidate my notes and reflect on what I learned that day. Since I still have no work, I allocate some of my free time to go to the library, read our book and note essential pieces of information. The rest of my time is for household chores, aiding my family at home, and leisure.
Would you recommend other students to come to Australia to study rather than attend online courses?
Honestly, it depends on what they have set their minds on. Personally, coming to Australia was the most significant opportunity I grabbed to improve my studies and aid me in achieving my pursuit of success. This single reason alone helped me decide on a turning point in my life and stand by it. Nursing is a profession that needs personal engagement with patients. Learning it online is challenging. Only relying on manuals or books and online lectures will prove to be an obstacle in clinical placements and actual scenarios.
What are the challenges of studying as an international student?
There really wasn’t a major challenge that I faced after coming to Australia. The weather is quite similar to my hometown. People mostly respect cultures and other people, I am pretty competent with my language and communication capabilities, and I have mostly overcome my homesickness.
What is the most exciting thing you have done in Australia?
I haven’t fully experienced the fun activities you can do in Australia since most of my relatives are busy hence no one to show me around. However, we’ve been to Nightcliff and the most exciting thing I did there was going to the beach.
What is the next step for you, career-wise and in education?
There are a lot of possibilities that may occur, but one principle I always follow in life is to ‘go with the flow, with present care.’ Nevertheless, I plan to focus on my current studies while taking opportunities for experiences that will significantly benefit my future career.
Your advice for other students who also want to get an overseas education experience?
ALWAYS think twice before deciding because there are adverse consequences, albeit the presence of benefits (whatever the context they may be). But, if you are genuinely determined, then be an indestructible force of passion and perseverance. ANYTHING is possible if you set your mind correctly and are accustomed to your wants and needs. Lastly, BELIEVE in yourself and your instincts.