Apoorva from India

Apoorva moved to Australia to pursue a Master of Public Health at Adelaide University. Find out what it was like for her to settle into her new life and how her studies prepared her for an rewarding career in Public Health.

4 June 2024

A profile picture of Apoorva from India smiling

From India to Australia: a leap of faith 

After completing my bachelor’s degree in India, I craved a change of scenery. I knew I wanted to experience studying abroad and began researching locations that would suit my lifestyle. Ultimately, I chose Australia for its wide selection of world-class institutions.  

I decided on the University of Adelaide as it was one of the best educational institutions in Australia. I had also noticed that Adelaide is one of the most international student-friendly cities in Australia. It is a small city and easy to navigate, and affordable in terms of accommodation, transport and lifestyle. It is. It has good weather and many more aspects that contribute to a happy and comfortable student life. 

In the five years that I have lived in Adelaide, I have never once doubted my decision. It has been an amazing journey, as I have transitioned from being a student to a full-time working professional in the field of public health.  

A passion for public health 

Before arriving in Australia, I completed a Bachelor of Dental Surgery in India. In this course, my classmates and I would visit educational campuses and schools in rural areas, offering free dental care. We would also create educational resources and present them to the young students.  

The feedback we would get from these events made me happy, which made me more interested in pursuing public health. I had worked for a year as a dentist, and I wanted to broaden my skill set and knowledge.  

I also wanted to explore specific areas such as statistical analysis, epidemiology, health promotion and environmental and occupational hygiene. 

These interests were the catalysts that prompted me to apply for a Master of Public Health program and change the direction of my future.  

Starting my career  

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I worked in the epidemiology team of an Australian Government agency as a public health project officer in the Communicable Disease Control Branch. I was trained in contact tracing and management, and I assisted the epidemiology team in formulating daily reports and other tasks. 

Post-pandemic, I moved to a new role as a Data Administrator in the Child and Family Support System, within another branch of the Australian Government.  

This role has given me an opportunity to work in a space that’s more meaningful and fulfilling in terms of achieving overall population health and wellbeing, whilst working alongside some of the world’s best epidemiologists and social workers.  

I am responsible for a wide range of tasks, including generating official government reports, training staff, data audits and management, data system development/improvements and addressing official data requests.  

Our goal is to keep children safe within their families, by helping families navigate through their difficulties, support them to build stronger family relationships and avoid more children ending up in out of home care systems. 

My Master’s course prepared me for all those tasks. It has made me confident to step into a professional life. Driven by my unwavering passion for public health, I intend to continue my work in this field.  

A message to international students 

Studying with a foreign education provider can feel like a big step. But it’s important to find your inner courage and take a leap of faith so you can grow into a stronger person. 

Don't be afraid to take that step of moving out of your home and your comfort zone. It is definitely going to get you where you want to be. 

Moving to Adelaide was a life-changing decision that made me more confident, responsible and independent. 

To ease your journey and make connections, remember to put yourself out there and speak up for yourself. For me, that meant meeting new people through events, by volunteering and by keeping close connections with my professors. Doing so helped me build a network and to make friends.  

Above all else, it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing. Volunteering does open doors, but it’s important to find a balance between your studies and social life.  

Most importantly - don’t forget to take care of yourself. 

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