Health and social development, Philippines, Student Stories
I put my dreams on hold. I returned to university to relight the spark.
Maayong adlaw sa inyong tanan! This is how we normally greet folks from my hometown of Davao.
My name is Noel and I am a second year Master of Public Health student at Deakin University, studying at the Burwood Campus. I am currently wrapping up the second trimester of my final year and will fulfil my academic obligations by the end of 2021. I am from the Philippines, and my hometown is in the Land of Promise, Davao City.
My story with Deakin has not yet concluded, but it has started to write a beautiful new chapter in my life. My Master of Public Health journey began 11 years ago when I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing in the Philippines. As an aspiring nurse, I had envisioned myself in the healthcare industry since I was a kid. I grew up around a family of nurses, so it was not a surprising direction for me.
After seeing Deakin on top university lists in Australia and globally, it was enough for me to decide to pack all my bags, move to Australia, and study at Deakin.
Finding my way back to my dream
However, I experienced setbacks to this dream of mine after I graduated, and I found myself working in the telecommunications industry instead of nursing. Despite that not being my plan, I managed to climb the corporate ladder and became a training manager. My time in the call centre world was fulfilling but after close to nine years in the industry, I felt like that chapter of my life was slowly coming to a close. It almost seemed like the universe was telling me that it was time to be re-acquainted with my healthcare dream.
During this time, my sister was studying nursing at Deakin University in Geelong, and all the feedback I heard about her experience was great. I went to Australia with my parents to attend my sister’s graduation and saw with my own eyes what Deakin was all about. My interest grew so I did some research. After seeing Deakin on top university lists in Australia and globally, it was enough for me to decide to pack all my bags, move to Australia and study at Deakin.
My sister’s graduation
With some local friends!
Getting help from an education agent
Considering a move abroad is not an easy task. Not only do you have to work on your requirements to study at a university, but you also need to work on your visa application. I was going to manage the application process all by myself, but I stumbled across a list of partnered agencies while going through the Deakin website. On it, I discovered AMS Global. After I reached out, they took their time to get to know me and my plans and took care of everything. While it might feel fulfilling to take care of such daunting processes to move abroad independently, it is best to coordinate with well-known agencies with track records in helping people study abroad. They provide all the information you need and guide you through the current requirements and trends, including advising you on how to write your Statement of Genuine Entry and complete all the required paperwork.
I still wanted to be part of the healthcare industry to live out my dream of caring for people. I still wanted to find a way to serve people with healthcare needs.
Despite AMS Global helping me with my initial plan to study nursing with Deakin, the circumstances did not fall in my favour. When the day came to hear about my application status, I found out the nursing program would not be available until 2021, but I could not wait further. I still wanted to be part of the healthcare industry to live out my dream of caring for people. I still wanted to find a way to serve people with healthcare needs. So with my background in nursing and my work experience as a manager, and the guidance of AMS Global in explaining how this course fit my goals, I decided to apply for the Master of Public Health as a substitute trajectory as it tackles health issues beyond the medical field. It involves understanding the background of diseases affecting communities, and taking part in healthcare programs to alleviate them.
I felt overwhelmed at first as it had been 10 years since the last time I studied, but the idea of higher education that complements my bachelor degree pushed me in taking this course. The wait made me anxious like never before, but I was confident that I would get through with this application. After waiting for close to two months to receive the news, it felt like I had the weight off my shoulders when I got accepted. It was official: I was going to fly to Australia. With the help of my family and relatives, I felt ready to begin my journey at Deakin. The process itself did not feel like a business transaction, AMS Global made sure to treat it like a celebration.
I have experienced physical, emotional and mental challenges throughout this chapter of my life, but the one thing that helps me push through is my dream.
My first trimester welcome at Deakin
Exploring Melbourne’s laneways
Moving overseas and studying during a pandemic
I started studying and working casually simultaneously and it initially took a toll on me, but it felt liberating that I was still living through my own means. The COVID-19 pandemic forced me to be isolated for a few months at work, especially during the initial period of lockdowns in Victoria. It also prevented me from attending classes in person, and I got to experience studying online.
Despite the challenge, Deakin provided their students with support, and it almost did not feel like a hard transition from face-to-face classes to online sessions. All the resources are found online, and they have a convenient platform for discussions with other students. Unlike the jam-packed nature of studying in my home country, studying in Australia provides more time for students to work part-time and study simultaneously, which suits my current situation. With all of that, I finished my first year and cruised my way through the second year. It has been a fulfilling journey so far.
Even though I still have a few units to complete, my journey at Deakin has helped me grow as a person. I have experienced physical, emotional and mental challenges throughout this chapter of my life, but the one thing that helps me push through is my dream. While it initially was to be a nurse, the dream was always about becoming an embodiment of supporting people with different medical needs through research and healthcare programs. I hope that earning my stripes with a Master of Public Health will allow me to fulfill my goals and aspirations, but importantly, for my story to inspire you to start your journey in fulfilling your dream with Deakin.
Learn more about Deakin’s health degrees here.
Find out about applying to Deakin as an international student here.
Learn more about application support for your country or region here.