Hi, my name is Usha Chandraseharan, I'm from Singapore and I'm doing a Master of Public Health at The University of Queensland. I'm also a UQ International Student Ambassador.
Why did you choose to study in Australia and specifically at UQ?
I chose UQ because it was ranked first in the Asia Pacific region for social services and public health (U.S. News Best Global Universities Subject Rankings, 2018). My plan is to begin my career and build experience within the public sector in Singapore or Australia, with a long-term goal to work at the World Health Organization. Studying at UQ has provided me with guidance and paved the way for me to achieve that, knowing what to expect along the way.
What are your thoughts on studying in Australia and Brisbane?
I’d previously lived in Australia for my undergraduate studies so I knew that I felt comfortable studying here and found it easy to adapt to the lifestyle and culture. I find the people of Brisbane very warm, friendly and approachable. It’s a city where life feels both peaceful and relaxed. Whether on campus or at Unilodge (student accommodation where I lived), I was surrounded by opportunities to keep fit, focus on studies, eat healthily, enjoy personal time and also have a bit of fun!
What are the best things about your program at UQ?
UQ’s lecturers are very supportive and approachable. They highly regard student feedback and course changes are implemented relatively quickly and effectively, meaning courses only get better with every semester. Also, the courses are so interesting that even three-hour lectures don’t seem that long!
A very special thing about this program were my classmates. There were a huge number of international students from all over the world (Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Timor Leste, Pacific Islands, China, Canada, Nigeria, Indonesia, Nepal, Japan, USA, etc.) enrolled in this program and the knowledge and experiences they shared were very informative. We often brain stormed and discussed international public health issues during workshops and lectures which exposed me to diverse perspectives and new ideas.
Have you undertaken an internship, volunteer, exchange or UQ Employability program?
I undertook a placement program during my final semester in a health and social services consulting firm. On the whole, the experience was invaluable to me in terms of applying my knowledge in practice, enhancing my skills, developing new perspectives and managing challenging projects. This is really advantageous to my current position, as I move forward to build a career in public health and knowing what to expect from the workforce.
What advice would you give people from other countries about studying at UQ?
UQ has given me an amazing experience so far and provided tremendous opportunities to help me develop as a person. If you have decided on studying public health, then UQ is definitely the place to be!