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Student Stories

I'm the first in my family to go to uni

Beth Cooper is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Canberra; passionate about Australian history, design, communication and solving community development issues. Last year, she moved to Darwin to pursue her life goals; kick-starting her study dreams with CDU's free Tertiary Enabling program. Coming from a line of strong women, Beth is the first person in her family to go to university and is currently pursuing a combined Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Laws degree in the hope to become a workers’ rights advocate. We caught up with her to celebrate her first High Distinction grade and to hear about her story.   

A remote-area Nursing student in the Outback

With a passion for improving the mental health outcomes for people living in remote and rural communities, Rachel Ashton has proudly completed her last two clinical placements in the Northern Territory as part of her Bachelor of Nursing degree with CDU.  We asked Rachel about what motivated her through her study journey as well as her experiences on placement, and the challenges she faced along the way to become a Registered Nurse.

What makes a good study buddy

Sometimes, it can feel isolating to study alone. That’s where a study buddy can come in handy to keep you motivated in achieving your study goals. Having a study buddy on deck is also a great way to make new friends. We asked five CDU students what makes a good study buddy:

From bridging course to Mechanical Engineering

Rikki Bruce graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering* from CDU in May 2018. She was nominated by her lecturers as a valedictorian for her outstanding personal achievements and academic record. Here's her full graduation speech, where she shares her determination to create a better future for her family.  * This course has been replaced by the Bachelor of Engineering Science.

How Kelly managed study commitments while moving interstate, twice!

Meet Kelly, an external student who will be graduating in 2019 with her Bachelor of Science.  Read how she has taken study head-on while moving interstate and what motivates her to keep on with her studies. 

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Elizabeth: Balancing work, study and family

Wondering if it’s possible to balance study and family? In the lead up to Mother's Day, Elizabeth Sandow shared with us her hopes and honest experience about being a dynamic mum who works full time while studying a Diploma of Laws online at CDU. 

Learning to live away from home for uni

During her gap year, Tess Riordan worked with children with disabilities in Wodonga, Victoria. She got a real kick out of watching the children grow and learn new skills. Knowing that she wanted to continue being part of this process, Tess enrolled in Charles Darwin University’s Bachelor of Education (Primary) degree.

Mastering the Internet of Things

Alwyn Jose recently graduated with a Master of Information Technology (Software Engineering) at CDU. Last year, he won the IT Code Fair business and innovation challenge with his CDU Smart Parking system, which enables users to find vacant parking spaces via sensors that inform an app, when a driver comes within 2km of their destination. We asked him some questions about his experience as a CDU student. 

Explore our 2018 courses

Looking to start study this year? Explore our courses on offer from health, business, education, science, arts and more.

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Balancing study and a great social life

Muriel Scholz moved from Katherine to begin studying a  Bachelor of Science at CDU and has chosen to live on campus at  International House Darwin (IHD). She loves to socialise with the domestic and international CDU students who also reside at IHD  and shares her experience about making life-long friends at uni, and tips about how to balance study and social life with us. I was born and raised in Katherine, just down the road. Darwin and CDU seemed like a good place to start off, being so close to home and something I was comfortable and familiar with. Initially, I discovered IHD by staying here briefly on a high school excursion but rediscovered it myself through researching accommodation options once I'd decided to move to Darwin. 

Kirstie: A Visual Arts student drawing inspiration from her reality

Visual Arts graduate Kirstie Louise Scullen will be representing Charles Darwin University at the HATCHED National Graduate Show exhibition. We asked Kirstie about what motivated her to follow her passion in Visual Arts, her influences, and how she grew her creativity through her studies, life experience and perception of the world.  Kirstie initially studied a Certificate IV in Visual Arts before graduating from a Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries (Visual Arts)* in 2017. *This course has been replaced by the Bachelor of Creative Arts WCART1.

Stephanie’s on a mission to create positive and lasting change

Stephanie hopes to use the knowledge and experiences gained while studying a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies with CDU to initiate social change. 

Larissa's Top End adventures: on the trail of a mysterious mammal 

Passionate about ecology and wildlife, Larissa Potter graduated with a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours, from CDU in October 2017. She was nominated by her lecturers as a Valedictorian for her outstanding academic record. Here's her full graduation speech, where she recounts what sparked her move to Darwin from Sydney, and where she shares her experiences doing field work on the Tiwi Islands while searching for the elusive, tiny mammal called Butler’s Dunnart.  

New country, new friends: William’s overseas study experience

William Janssen, an aspiring science teacher, has just completed the final unit in his Bachelor of Education Graduate Entry with CDU. Last July, William went to Germany as part of CDU’s Global Mobility program. He spent four weeks at the Philipps-Universität of Marburg, in their Summer University Program.  Hear how newfound friendships made his experience unforgettable. 

Never give up, never give in: Gabby's inspirational story

Success is not determined by your past but by your own perseverance. Gabby Hill's story sure sounds like a Hollywood movie script, but we can assure you, it's real life. Gabby didn't have a chance to finish high school: as a disadvantaged youth, she found herself homeless. A few decades later, after having brought up her own children, she fulfilled her dream to pursue a degree in Law. Now she is ready for her graduation day and planning to go even further and do her Honours degree, all that while being an Indigenous mentor and a passionate human rights advocate.

How Mel stayed motivated through her IT degree

After completing Year 12, Mel Green took a few gap years and worked full-time before deciding on which university and course was right for her. After researching her options, she chose to study a Bachelor of Information Technology with CDU. Studying online from both South Australia and New South Wales, Mel has now completed her IT degree and is looking forward to attending her graduation Darwin in 2018!  We asked Mel who recently completed her IT studies about her experiences, goals, challenges and achievements.

A kettlebell champion not weighed down by her studies

Studying towards a degree takes time and dedication, but it needn't get in the way of achieving sporting, career or life goals. In fact, CDU student and Aussie kettlebell athlete Saga Wessman doesn't let anything stand in her way! Hear the inspiring story of this mentally and physically tough athlete and student. Saga Wessman represented Australia at the 2017 Kettlebell Lifting World Championships in South Korea (15-19 November) and studying a Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Science online at CDU. Before Saga took off for Seoul, we caught up with her and asked what motivates her along this journey. Here’s what she has to say…

An education pioneer in the digital era: Chengxi's story

Chengxi Li had become disillusioned with her studies. The international student was halfway through a Master of Professional Accounting when she realised that she’d made a mistake. She has since refound her passion for learning and become the first full-time student to enrol in an innovative new degree, Master of Digital Learning Futures. Here is Chengxi's story:

Why I changed course to become a midwife

Ishita Singhal originally studied Information Technology before deciding to pursue a career she was truly passionate about. In October 2017, she graduated with a Bachelor of Midwifery from CDU and couldn’t be happier with her decision. We asked Ishita about what motivated her to follow her study goals, as well as her experiences as a CDU student and the challenges she faced along the way to become a midwife.

We Love Graduation

We loved seeing the support given to our October Graduates by friends and family. It gave us a glimpse of the positive impact our students have on their community.