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Student Stories

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

Beth is a proud Wiradjuri woman from Canberra. In 2017, Beth took the first step in her journey to becoming a lawyer, by completing CDU’s free Tertiary Enabling Program. These days, Beth is well on the way to achieving her dream; she’s finishing her Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Law degree online, while working as a legal intern at a law firm in Brisbane.

From Arts to Accounting: Vicky’s international student journey

Huijia Liu (Vicky) describes herself as a woman who loves sunshine, smiles and exploring the world. We think she can also describe herself as a resilient and adaptive learner, having made the courageous move from Bachelor of Arts graduate to Master of Professional Accounting student in 2019. Read more to learn Vicky’s story about being an international student at Charles Darwin University’s Waterfront campus in the Northern Territory.

Rural Indonesia to nuclear NSW: Bijay's Engineering expeditions

For Nepalese student Bijay, studying engineering at Charles Darwin University has been a family affair. And as an external student who’s now pursuing a Master’s degree, his studies have taken him from a rural village in Indonesia to a nuclear energy site in NSW. Read on to find out about Bijay’s experience as a CDU student—and where he hopes it will lead. Where I’m from, Nepal, there’s still a lot of work in civil infrastructure that needs to be done. My thought was to study engineering and hopefully contribute one day

Ben found his tribe as an international student in Darwin

Ben’s journey as a Charles Darwin University international student started in a slightly unconventional way. He had failed his English exams in the fourth year of his finance degree in his home country of Colombia. He needed to build his language skills to resit his exams and graduate. A cousin living in Darwin suggested that Ben join him to learn English, so Ben threw caution to the wind and did exactly that. Find out how Ben went from learning the English language to becoming an award-winning international student advocate and Bachelor of Accounting student at CDU.  

International scholarship for Elinor’s Indigenous policy study dream

Elinor’s focus on her studies recently paid off when was awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s International High Achiever Scholarship to study a postgraduate degree at Charles Darwin University in Darwin. At 22-years-old, Elinor is one of the youngest students in her class, but she’s on a decidedly advanced study path—a Master of Public Policy that she’ll use to address Indigenous disadvantage.

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Studying nursing online with a full-time job: Paramjit's story

Taking a trip to the hospital for a health problem isn’t usually a way to find inspiration. But in Paramjit Kaur’s case, it’s what led her to study nursing at Charles Darwin University. Read on to learn the source of Paramjit’s inspiration and how she manages to juggle a full-time job as well as family responsibilities while studying as a part-time external student.

Leaving my home country for the first time to study: Tatenda's story

For Tatenda Simbarashe Mapuranga, moving to Darwin to study a Business degree at Charles Darwin University was a series of firsts. He’s the first in his family to study at university and the first to travel abroad in pursuit of education. It was also the first time he had left his home country, and the first time he’d been on a plane. Read on to find out how Tatenda coped brilliantly with the huge adjustment that comes with studying as an international student.

Why I changed careers at 30

Daniel had a career in banking, but after eight years he realised that it wasn't the career for him. He shares how he decided to put passion ahead of profession and instead study his hobby.

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Taking the next step in my early childhood career: Tannille's story

After a few years in the big smoke, Tannille moved back to the regional, coastal town of Elliston in South Australia with her husband and young family. It was the perfect opportunity to take a new professional direction. She started a family day care centre and with her business underway, the mum of three decided it was time to gain her bachelor's degree in early childhood education. Here's her story. 

Why I'm finally doing a teaching degree: Wendy's story

After a decade or so of working in a range of jobs and raising two daughters, Wendy show us it's never too late to follow your passion. She's studying a teaching degree online at CDU from her home in Victoria, while juggling family and work. Here's how giving herself permission to do something she loves is preparing her for a challenging and rewarding career.  

Why I changed careers to become a teacher: Sallie's story

After 15 years as an event manager, Sallie decided it was time for a change after her second daughter arrived. She took the plunge and applied to study a teaching degree online at CDU, which she'd been thinking about for a while. Here's how she's putting her creativity, organisational and time management skills to task as she juggles her teaching degree, family and three jobs. 

My two weeks in the Amazon protecting turtles

As part of her Bachelor of Environmental Science, CDU student Erica Smith seized the opportunity to cross Brazil off her travel bucket list as she took part in the two-week Brazilian Amazon Field Intensive (BAFI) offered by CDU's College of Engineering, IT and Environment. Erica is currently half-way through her degree and determined to major in Wildlife Conservation.  For the past five years, Erica studied part time so she could fit in her work schedule. Last year, she moved to Darwin from a remote community in East Arnhem Land to transition into full time study at Casuarina Campus and make faster progress toward completing her studies. 

From the Navy to Engineering, via rural India: Meet Dion

From working as an Electrical Marine Technician in the Navy, enrolling in a Bachelor of Engineering, to eventually finding himself in Western India as part of an Engineers Without Borders Summit, CDU student Dion Morrow’s path to becoming an Electrical Engineer as certainly been an interesting one. Here, Dion explains what led him to CDU, and why his trip to India highlighted the way in which engineering and humanitarian efforts can be linked. 

Why I moved to Darwin to study Psychology

Victorian native Matthew Cartwright was on a road trip from Darwin to Katherine in July last year, when he saw a sign on the road for Charles Darwin University. At the time, Matt was in his final year of a Bachelor of Psychology down in Melbourne, and was planning his next move.

A 'once in a lifetime' summer interning at Harvard Law School

Each year, one high-achieving Law student from CDU is selected to travel to Harvard Law School and work as as a legal intern at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic. Paul Larder is one of the students who went on this four-week, life-changing trip. It was an exceptional opportunity to develop his migration law knowledge and skills, while working and studying at one of the most elite law schools in the world. Here's his story. 

From high school dropout to law valedictorian

Mark dropped out of high school in year 10. Fast forward a few years: he holds a law degree, is involved in countless legal education and community initiatives, was named NT  Young Achiever of the Year in 2017 and nominated as Indigenous valedictorian of his graduating class at CDU.  His valedictorian speech will inspire the most uninspired. Here's what he had to say. 

I'm living my best life at CDU Sydney

Sydney is Australia’s largest and most famous city with a lively and vibrant buzz that makes it the ultimate destination year-round. The city always has plenty of things to do no matter what the season and it's the perfect place for those students coming in from overseas to study here. We took the opportunity to speak to Bachelor of Accounting student, Ashweeta Paudel about her CDU Sydney experience so far.

I went back to uni at 55 to better understand human behaviour

Darwin-born Cathryn Doney had a professional IT consulting career before she decided to study Psychology at CDU. Cathryn plans to draw on her life experience and skills to succeed. She is aiming to pave her way to a future in research, academia, applied learning, or in a consulting capacity at the junction of technology, organisational design and psychological science. 

Studying Science to become an ecologist: Alana's story

CDU student Alana de Laive has developed a keen interest in wildlife and herpetology. She has worked in various roles as an ecologist and wildlife keeper and wanted to further her career by undertaking a part-time Bachelor of Science (Ecology) degree with CDU. Alana is continuing her studies with an Honours project focusing on the conservation of the giant Amazon River turtle.