As an international student, my journey to Australia has been nothing short of incredible. The experience of studying at Griffith University’s Gold Coast Campus has been immensely fulfilling, with countless opportunities for learning, growth, and new experiences.
I chose the Master of Social Work because the program is rigorous and renowned across Queensland and pursuing the coursework feels like I am working towards my dream every day. The program is well-structured, focused on learning with excellent supportive professors, has 1000 hours of clinical placement and flexible learning opportunities. Along with my studies, I have also been able to take advantage of the 24/7 library services and free medical and pastoral care that Griffith offers, which is important for my wellbeing and self care.
Life on the Gold Coast
Coming from Chandigarh in India, a city renowned for its innovative architecture and urban design, I find the lush greenery of Gold Coast to be reminiscent of my hometown. The Gold Coast City itself is fantastic, supportive, adventurous, and teeming with opportunities, making it a true ‘wonderland’ in my eyes.
As social work student and Gold Coast Mayor’s Student Ambassador, my goal is to create meaningful change in the Gold Coast community, by encouraging local and international students to work together in partnership to enhance the student experience. I plan to actively participate in the community and volunteering events to learn more about the Gold Coast, the local industries and unpack the hidden secrets of the Gold Coast City.
Along the way, I want to make new friends and create lifelong memories!
Finding ways to help others
Although my background is in emergency management, I have learnt over the time that I have the talent and passion for promoting and supporting people. My motivation is that a distressing fact of life is that young people face abuse across nations, many of whom come from broken families in the absence of proper care, education, and professional guidance; they are often misguided and fall victim to drugs, theft, and other crimes, thereby becoming juvenile delinquents. This unwelcome gesture of society towards such individuals causes hindrance in their mainstreaming that jeopardises not only their future but also affects society’s functioning. The desire to solve this intricate complexity of social injustice towards children and youth has developed my keen interest in the clinical and academic aspects of social work.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, I stepped up to support local and international foundations by fundraising, creating content, and imparting workshops on various issues – including women’s empowerment, gender equality, and mental health. In the years 2020 to 2021, I won third place in a Psychology Art Competition conducted by the University of Auckland, New Zealand. My art represented refugee youth persecution in their home countries, and I continued to spread the message to protect children and youth via participating in art competitions and writing blogs while I was at home in India. It was a very rewarding experience.
Gaining invaluable experience
Apart from volunteering during my studies, I have attended and participated in virtual international training programs and sessions offered by the United Nations – Women, International Federation of Social Work, Save the Children, UNICEF, World Bank Group, Canadian Association of Social Work, and Emerging Minds- Australia, Social Work Student Connect, United Kingdom. In addition, I also earned an online course certificate in Social Norms and Social Change from the University of Pennsylvania – UNICEF.
These experiences further instilled in me a resolute desire to invest in an international Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) and area of interest for specialisation at Griffith University.
With the help of Griffith, I hope to build a successful career in social work within 2.5 years of graduation that I can be proud of, and employ my compassion, creativity, and intellect to make a difference in Australia. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities that Griffith University, Study Gold Coast, and the City of Gold Coast have provided me, and I am excited to see where this take me in future.
My advice for international students
Get involved in your community. Join the Griffith Mates, join a student club or become a Student Ambassador. There are so many ways that you can contribute to the student community during your studies, and you will also make lifelong friends!
All the best,