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Heather - China

Heather's charter flight story: from online to on campus

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, international student Heather was at home in China. She was preparing to travel to Darwin to study a Master of Professional Accounting (Professional Practice) at CDU when international borders closed. Faced with her new reality, Heather did not give in, instead, she started studying online as an international student.  


Despite Heather’s desire to study in person at CDU, she completed her first semester online from her hometown In Shenyang, China. COVID-19 had made international travel almost impossible and Heather’s dream to study at CDU was available only through a screen. 

While Heather commenced her studies online, she was excited to be contacted by CDU Global to join a charter flight program - the first in Australia. In a matter of weeks after agreeing to join, she was one of the first international students to return to Darwin.  

A home away from home

Heather first found out about CDU during a working holiday. She came to Darwin where she was attracted to the unique scenery and the welcoming multicultural community. When searching for a university, CDU was the obvious choice for Heather. 

"What intrigued me about studying at CDU was its excellent graduate employment and salary outcomes.” 

Heather instantly connected with the innovative, dynamic, friendly and welcoming atmosphere.  “I am living a happy and satisfying life here,” says Heather. 

Heather is grateful for the local community and opportunities she has accessed in Darwin. she now volunteers at the Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army and Kindness Shake.  

Feeling supported online  

As an international student, Heather wanted to know that she could study efficiently online with easily accessible support services. 

“All my lecturers and tutors provided me with extra support to make my study as smooth as possible."

"The staff at the international student office, Student Central and IT team were very approachable and supportive. They acted amazingly and extremely efficiently to amend any problems.”  

Heather appreciated the relaxed and comfortable setting of online learning and being able to have access to the course 24/7.

Her advice for other international students studying online: “For every unit, you will find a weekly study plan on the Learnline. My suggestion is to follow the study plan and create a weekly schedule.” 

CDU Charter Flight experience  

Heather says she is very proud of CDU for making history as the first university in Australia to return international students via charter flight and feels lucky to be a part of this history.  

Her family are happy that she is in Darwin, one of the safest places in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

"…after they (Heather’s family) witnessed how much effort CDU put into the pilot program, they were truly impressed by how well it was prepared and organised within such a short period of time."

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The vision for the future  

Heather has strong career goals to work within an accounting or finance-based role and with the necessary knowledge and skills gained from her degree at CDU, she has newfound confidence to achieve her dream.  

"I feel confident and genuinely excited about my future career."

Source: Charles Darwin University

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