Later this month, more than 50 talented students from 18 countries will celebrate the completion of their international scholarships at a farewell ceremony on campus, run by the International Sponsorships team.
Most of these students came to Sydney 18 months ago as part of bilateral programs between their countries and Australia. Many are recipients of Australia Awards scholarships, but others have been able to study at the University of Sydney thanks to Endeavour Awards scholarships, the Australian Defence Cooperation Scholarship Program, and funding from the Indonesian Government.
We asked some of these graduating students about their time at Sydney, and how they plan to use their new education, research and life skills to help aid development in their countries:
"In my final semester, I opted to do a workplace project as my capstone unit, giving me the opportunity to study and share experiences with nurses of all ranks, ages, expertise, knowledge and skills. I am taking everything that I have learned and I will turn it into something that will help not only my own personal nursing practice, but my Tongan nursing division as a whole."
"I hail from Netrokona, a Northern district of Bangladesh. Prior to coming to Australia, I studied and worked in Dhaka, the capital. The University of Sydney offers one of the best-designed courses on human rights – I have learnt the dynamics of human rights violations and the existing international norms and practices of human rights. The opportunity to study at the University of Sydney enriched me in other ways, too. It equipped me with an ability to think critically, analyse a situation from various perspectives, exercise respect for the opinions of others and communicate more effectively. I feel I have become more confident, tolerant and accommodating."
"I am originally from a small town in Indonesia called Mojokerto – it is about a two-hour drive from Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia. [In Sydney] I have seen the beauty of diversity and good values of humanity – the beautiful minds and lovely people I met in Australia have inspired me to maintain my passionate interest in learning and giving something back to my community upon returning to Indonesia."
"What I love about the University of Sydney is the spirit of training students to excel. Teachers are doing all they can to produce the best graduates – and I love the equal opportunity for all. I have been inspired to push for the improvements of the lives of Tanzania's rural communities."
"I am a Colombian-American journalist and news producer. I always dreamed of visiting Australia, imagining it was a beautiful country full of amazing sights and people, and I wasn't wrong. It's been a year-and-a-half of enriching experiences in which I have not only learnt everything I needed about digital communication, but also about Australian culture."
“I would never have become who I am now – possessing independent research skills and great passion for doing research – without the knowledge and skills I gained at the University of Sydney. During my PhD journey, I have been provided with substantial knowledge and skills to become a good researcher. I have attended a number of workshops and conferences to improve my social and professional knowledge and extend networks. I also won the 'Best Research Paper' award in my faculty and I got published – this wouldn't have been possible without my Australia Awards scholarship."
"I wish to contribute the knowledge and skills I obtained from my studies at the University of Sydney, and the internship I did at the Settlement Council of Australia, in the area of social and economic development in the Maldives, focusing on migrant rights and gender rights."
"I come from a civil and environmental engineering background and I decided to take up my program to help prepared me for my dream of becoming an infrastructure consultant. I look forward to working on projects directly related to climate change."
"One of the best things about studying my degree was the clinical placement opportunities. In addition to receiving the theoretical knowledge, I was able to apply it in the community. My Faculty connected me with several sexual health clinics and community-based organisations and assisted me throughout the field study process. The impact of my University program on my career and on my contribution to improving the sexual health medical field in Indonesia will be enormous."