Dr Vidiya Ramachandran
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” " Ralph Waldo Emerson
My journey as an International Student in Australia began at the University of Wollongong (UOW). After completing MSc in Biotechnology, Australian Government awarded me the Overseas Postgraduate Research Scholarship and the University granted me the Postgraduate Award to pursue my PhD in infectious diseases.
After the completion of my PhD, I transitioned from an international student to an employee of UOW, first as a post-doctoral research scientist and then as a lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences. I was also the recipient of two prestigious research fellowships – Endeavour Research Fellowship and Australia-India Early Career Fellowship. Currently, I am working as a Senior Hospital Scientist at NSW Health Pathology.
University experience as an international student is not just about education but educating yourself to think outside the box and open your eyes to new possibilities. Take this opportunity to expand your network. It is about pushing your limits and venturing beyond your comfort zone.
As an international student, I was part of several organisations. I was nominated and elected as an International Students Officer at the Wollongong University Postgraduate Association (WUPA). I was also the President of the Indian Students Association at the University of Wollongong for two consecutive years whilst undertaking my education. Being part of these organisations enhanced my University experience, building relationships, sharing information and finding sources of support. To put in one word – “Networking”.
To become integrated into the local community, I actively participated in activities organised by the Indian Australian Cultural Association – Illawarra Inc. (IACAII). Together, we have organised events for International students to meet academic and community members in Wollongong, to promote students to embrace the Australian values and culture and guide them to adjust to the new environment academically and socially. I am still an active member of IACAII.
Australia is my home away from home, and I am thankful for being able to study, work and live in this beautiful country.
We believe International Students should have a ‘fair go’ whilst they stay in Australia.