My name is Lady Lourdaine Punio, an international student from the Philippines and I am currently taking Bachelor of Psychological Science at CDU.
Why did you want to study overseas? Why CDU?
I chose to study overseas to explore the world around me and meet new people that could possibly have an impact on my future. I chose to stay in Darwin because it is where CDU is located. CDU has been recommended to me by my siblings who graduated with their tertiary degrees at CDU.
Why did you choose your current program?
I chose Bachelor of Psychological Science because I want to be a clinical psychologist. I want other people who suffer from mental illness to feel that they are understood and not alone. I admit it was not my first choice but from personal experiences, I know how big an impact a psychologist has on an individual.
How was your study journey at CDU International College?
I took Foundation Studies for two semesters at CDU International College. I took a 2 year gap from school after graduating year 12 in the Philippines. Taking the pathway program really helped me prepare to go back to school. Starting my degree did not feel weird or stressful as I know what it is like to be an international student. It was an easy transition from foundation studies to my bachelors degree.
What makes you decide to study overseas during Covid?
Covid did not stop me from wanting to get my education. I believe education is important and no matter what challenge I am facing. There are other channels that are available for me to access my education.
Can you share with us your recent journey coming(back) to Australia from your home country?
My journey to Australia from the Philippines during the pandemic was quite sad and exciting at the same time. It was sad because I had to leave my loved ones for some time and exciting because I am starting a new journey in a different country with a different culture. I was excited to learn!
Getting to meet new people who have experience in the social work field was inspiring. And after 2 years of being isolated due to the pandemic, it was nice to get out of the house and socialize.
How are you finding the learning experience on campus?
It is much better to study on campus rather than online. The experiences I must have to be a good psychologist require me to be on campus and the lecturers really give that experience and knowledge.
Can you describe your everyday schedule?
I have classes from Tuesday to Friday. And during my free time, I try to catch up on my readings. I am also currently working as a casual employee in the hospitality field to support my needs and wants.
Would you recommend other students to come to Australia to study rather than attend online courses?
I absolutely recommend it. I know it can be scary to go back to campus but the experience of attending on campus will make you more focused on studying and the lecturers are much more involved.
What are the challenges of studying as an international student?
One of the challenges I experienced was making new friends and acquaintances. I was quite anxious to go out and socialize with other people from different cultures and languages.
What is the most exciting thing you have done in Australia?
The most exciting thing I have done so far is visiting a different city in the Northern Territory (e.g., Katherine). Doing so, I met new people and experience a road trip in the Northern Territory.
What is the next step for you, career-wise and in education?
Next step for me is to finish my degree and start working in the social work field. Working in the social work field will give me more knowledge and experience on what it is like to be a psychologist.
If you have any advice for other students who also want to get an overseas education experience, what would it be?
If you are given the opportunity to study overseas, grab it. It is an exhilarating journey. It will help you become more independent and you will get to know yourself even better.