After completing my Bachelor in Industrial Engineering in Turkey, I looked for options to do my Masters of Civil Engineering overseas.
I didn’t have a clear idea of which country I wanted to complete my Masters in, but the more I researched, the more I realised that Australia provided me with the subjects I wanted to study, as well as the lifestyle I wanted to live.
I knew that I didn’t want to go to a ‘big-city university’ and the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) Toowoomba campus provided me with the stress-free university atmosphere I was looking for. But first, I had to convince my parents. Australia was far away and safety was a major concern for them, as I was a young woman moving abroad on my own. But it was the quality of Australian education and the fact that Australia ranks highly among the safest countries in the world won them over in the end.
As I discovered, Australia is a great place to study, especially for women. I really feel safe here. USQ is a high-quality and affordable option for international students and USQ’s engineering degrees are fully-accredited through Engineers Australia.
This professional accreditation will make me stand out in a very competitive Turkish employment market. My lecturers have a lot of in-depth knowledge, come from different industry backgrounds and are very approachable.
I have always been an extroverted person but it still surprised me that none of them treated local and international students differently. It’s thanks to these lecturers that I excelled in my studies and became a member of the Golden Key Honour Society - a student network for high-achieving students who are in the top 15% of their faculty.
The first six months in Australia were the hardest. My advice for newcomers is to get socially active as soon as possible. There are so many social things you can do and places to go in Australia. There is a great international student community on campus at USQ.
I can proudly say that I have already gained new friends from all over the world; Egypt, Canada, China, US and Iran, just to name a few. I also have started working part-time at a restaurant in the city. I recommend everybody makes use of the part-time work options for international students, as it also helps to build an international network.
For anyone from Turkey thinking to study abroad in Australia, please do not worry about being far away from home. Your university has a lot of support services, from orientation and study preparation programs, to counselling services. I came on my own without knowing anybody – it took me a lot of courage but now I am very grateful that I made use of this lifetime opportunity.