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Hazel Muthomi Hero Banner

Meet Hazel from Kenya, studying Environmental Management in Australia

UQ people
Published 15 Oct, 2021  ·  3-minute read

Hi, my name is Hazel Muthomi, I’m from Kenya and I recently completed a Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) at The University of Queensland. 

Hazel and Former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk

Hazel being recognised as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador by former Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Graham Quirk.

Why did you choose to study in Australia, and specifically at UQ? 

I chose to study in Australia as I wanted to experience something completely different culturally to what I was used to. I chose UQ specifically as it is highly ranked* in Environmental Sciences. I also wanted to study in Brisbane as it has similar weather to my home city.

*UQ is ranked 17th in Environmental Sciences in the QS World University Rankings by Subject, 2021

What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane? 

Brisbane is relatively small, but it still has all of the benefits of living in a city such as a good public transport network, a growing arts and culture scene, plus a variety of restaurants and bars. I love that the city is so close to nature, and you don’t have to travel far to see beaches, rainforests and mountains.

After graduation, I have continued to stay in Australia as it is now my second home and all my friends and professional networks are here. My goal is to apply for permanent residency through the skilled migration process and establish my career in Australia.

What are the best things about your program at UQ? 

"What made my program unique, and part of the reason I chose this program, was that we had the opportunity to complete a two-week field trip across Queensland before we graduated."

After flying into Cairns, we made our way back down to Brisbane over two weeks, stopping at different towns and cities to visit different industries and businesses. We visited mines, wind farms, sugar cane farms, the Great Barrier Reef, and many others. It was great to see the real-world application of what we were learning in class and helped me decide on possible future career paths.

Hazel in national park

As part of her program, Hazel visited the Daintree on a field trip in North Queensland.

Have you undertaken an internship, volunteer, exchange or UQ Employability program? 

I was able to complete a semester of industry placement at a non-government organisation here in Brisbane. My supervisor at the organisation taught me a lot about the environmental industry in Queensland and I am thankful for the opportunity as she is still one of my career mentors.

"I also went on a short-term exchange to Milan, Italy which was an amazing experience and allowed me to gain credit for my degree while travelling and seeing different countries and cultures." 

Hazel on UQ Exchange

What advice would you give people from other countries studying at UQ?

The workload and academic expectations can be quite high depending on your program. However, with proper planning – and a few late nights in the library! – it is worth it in the end. I also believe there is something for everyone in terms of extra-curricular activities at UQ. It is a great way to get involved in the community, make friends and also add new skills to your resume to get a head start on your future career.

Interested in an academic path similar to Hazel’s? Explore the Bachelor of Environmental Management (Honours) today.

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