Fuelling my passion for political studies and economics at Deakin
My name is Emma Perrine and I come from a small tropical island called Rodrigues, which forms part of the Republic of Mauritius. I started my Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in politics and policy studies, international politics and economics, at Deakin University, Australia, in November 2018.
Feeling lost after high school and finding my next steps
After completing my Cambridge Higher School Certificate, I felt quite lost with regards to my next steps. I always wanted to study abroad as I am an adventurous person, but I was unsure about where to go and what to study. I went to Mauritius and consulted with Campus Abroad. Campus Abroad took great care of my needs and demands, and proposed me several universities, among which was Deakin.
Deakin appealed to me because it offers a wide variety of courses, including double degrees which would enable me to complete two degrees in four years. At Deakin I found the course in which I was really interested. Moreover, Melbourne was a dream study destination for me for its quality education.
Receiving a fully funded scholarship
I was lucky to have been awarded the 100% Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship which provided me with the golden privilege to pursue my tertiary studies with fully funded tuition. In addition, the scholarship program gave me the opportunity to take part in the Vice-Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Program (VCPEP). The VCPEP is an outstanding leadership program which gave me access to the services of a career coach and an Academic Mentor throughout my studies.
While studying, I also worked as a private tutor and as a casual store associate. These work experiences developed my self-esteem and soft skills which are valuable for my future career. I also volunteered as a Peer Mentor at Deakin and as a radio presenter for a Mauritian show on Casey Radio. My years at university have been rich in personal growth, and I am very proud of my journey.
My years at university have been rich in personal growth, and I am very proud of my journey.
Choosing a double degree
My double degree in commerce and arts was challenging given the huge workload, yet very fascinating. Politics and economics are dynamic complementary fields, which provided me a complete set of knowledge and skills to better understand the world around me.
The fields of arts and commerce differ in their approach of analysis and communication, which demanded my ability to adjust my study approach when shifting from an arts unit to a commerce unit. Above all, I am extremely satisfied with my degree as it is a unique course which enabled me to pursue my passion for both politics and economics.
Above all, I am extremely satisfied with my degree as it is a unique course which enabled me to pursue my passion for both politics and economics.
Matching my passion for economics and interests in politics
I have always been passionate about economics and curious about what is happening in world economies. During my years in college, I participated in the Rodrigues Youth Parliament which is a parliament-type debating platform for the Rodriguan youth to discuss social and economic issues which affect the island. From this participation my interests in politics emerged. When I completed high school I chose a field of study that matched my passion for economics and interests in politics, without having to choose between the two fields.
Feeling welcomed within the Deakin community
I felt very welcomed within the Deakin community which facilitated my adaptation and integration into a new and foreign study environment. The staff are very amiable and are always willing to help. During my first year of university, I resided in the on-campus accommodation where I made a lot of friends from different countries. The experience of sharing accommodation with people from diverse cultural backgrounds developed my cultural sensitivity and global awareness.
The experience of sharing accommodation with people from diverse cultural backgrounds developed my cultural sensitivity and global awareness.
Gaining practical work experience
I was able to finish my double degree in three years given Deakin’s flexible teaching system, which enabled me to study during the summer breaks. During one of these summer breaks I also did an internship for the DeakinTALENT Freelancing Hub. I worked in a team of seven interns with a supervisor on a project consisting of the creation of a website and an e-commerce platform for a Malaysian social enterprise called Heart Treasures. I heard about this role through DeakinTALENT as I form part of the candidate pool.
I attended several DeakinTALENT workshops based on writing strong resumes, creating a strong LinkedIn profile, and effectively researching the job industries, which massively helped me in securing this internship. DeakinTALENT increased my awareness of the job market and improved my career readiness.
Deakin Talent services increased my awareness of the job market and improved my career readiness.
Transitioning from on-campus to online study
The years 2020 and 2021 were challenging. I struggled with the transition from on-campus to online learning due to a lack of motivation and the stress related to the uncertainties caused by the pandemic. Being far from my family and on an island added to these difficulties. Fortunately I was able to rely on the support services offered by Deakin and its sophisticated online system, which helped me to maintain my high grades.
In particular the resource people from the VCPEP massively helped me to balance my studies and social life. Through online meetings with my mentor and career coach, I was able to voice out my concerns and received valuable support to cope with the COVID-19 situation. My career coach always motivated me to keep giving the best of myself in my studies. He also encouraged me to take part in more extra-curricular activities to develop my soft skills, instead of focusing too narrowly on developing my technical skills.
Realising my dream career while at Deakin
Later in my university years I became interested in debating and public speaking, and I now aspire to become a politician. I want to work as an economic consultant or policy adviser for the government in my home island after my studies, and later to ultimately become engaged in domestic politics.
Deakin forged me into a well-rounded graduate and a grown-up, confident person. I can notice the difference from the shy and hesitant person I was before coming to Australia to the bold and confident person I am now. My study abroad experience was fruitful and drastically changed my perspectives.
My advice to future students
The university journey of international students is by no means easy, but all the struggles we go through develop the strength that we will need for the future. I would like to congratulate all those who take the wise and audacious decision to leave their country to study in a foreign country.
I want to advise them to never lose focus and to keep going no matter what. The sacrifices and efforts will eventually pay off. For those who intend to study at Deakin, I want to tell them that Deakin is an amazing university where they will receive all the support needed throughout their studies. They should make full use of all the services that Deakin offers and make the most of the university life.
I would like to congratulate all those who take the wise and audacious decision to leave their country to study in a foreign country.
For further information about studying at Deakin and courses that relate to politics, visit our Arts, humanities and social sciences page. If you would like more information about Deakin courses that relate to economics, visit our Business page.
Learn about Deakin’s Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Arts here
Learn about the Deakin Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship here
Learn more about the DeakinTALENT Freelancing Hub here
Learn more about Deakin courses relating to politics here
Learn more about Deakin courses relating to economics here