Shairah Radzi is a Biomedical Engineer, experienced and highly motivated Education Expert from Singapore looking forward to sharing her personal experiences with students as a former international student herself.
With a PhD in Medical Engineering from Queensland University of Technology, Shairah is a firm believer in the Australian dream and its education opportunities.
Her career interest is in Research and Development, Science and Engineering and she also has working experience in Singapore and India, so she would be happy to share her experiences with you as well.
Give time to discover yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself. After all, life is all about experiences. Enjoy the differences! Always take a breath of fresh air and keep an open mind.Shairah Radzi
Sofiri: Tell us a little about your story, from the very beginning
I came to Australia as an international undergraduate student. It took some time for me to adjust, mainly because it was the first time I was away from home that long. Also, the culture and lifestyle is very different to what I experience back home in Singapore. As time passed, I became very fond of Australia as I have had many pleasant memories. As a student, I felt that the university I attended provide good support for international students, and I’ve had lecturers who were very passionate about their work and it shows when they teach. It made lessons more interactive and fun. Also, in general, I find most Australians friendly and courteous.
Sofiri: What is your personal experience of the Australian education system?
I did my undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and thoroughly enjoyed my experience there. Many would ask why I didn’t choose to go to other universities after I finished my Bachelor’s Degree. I would say it’s because I was comfortable and happy where I studied as I felt I was given the freedom and support to explore many different things. I felt the educators there tried their best to help me achieve my potential. I wouldn’t say it was an easy student life, because I struggled a lot. This is mainly because I previously had a Diploma so I managed to get some credits and entered directly into the 3rd year of university.
However I had lecturers who work in the industry come and talk about their experiences so it was a helpful insight. Then, there were lecturers/tutors that made time for me to help with certain topics that I was struggling with. I met so many people from all around the world, some became my close friends till now, even if we are so far away from each other.
Sofiri: What is it about Australian people and culture that you like?
People being friendly and courteous. For example, when people board the bus most will greet with a hello and say thank you at the end of their ride. It makes me wish that bus drivers, or people who work in such sectors, be given the recognition they deserve for the hard work they do.
|"…when people board the bus most will greet with a hello and say thank you at the end of their ride. It makes me wish that bus drivers, or people who work in such sectors, be given the recognition that they deserve for the hard work they do"|
Sofiri: Tell us more on what you think about the employment opportunities in Australia for international student graduates.
I feel this topic is subjective. I feel that Australian employers look beyond academic qualifications, which means that having a certificate is probably not enough to land you a job. They are interested in graduates who are wholesome i.e. have other soft skills. I would suggest international students to go out of their comfort zone so that they can develop more as an individual outside the university. For example, employers look for volunteer experiences.
Sofiri: What’s your favourite Australian food? Do you remember trying it for the first time? Or do you remember introducing it to someone from overseas?
This may sound funny but I like Australian fish and chips more than British-style fish and chips. A friend introduced it to me. It must be the freshness of the seafood. I also like Australian fresh produce like milk and fruits. I like going to weekend markets. A shout out to Australian farmers, thank you for your contribution!
Sofiri: How do you think safety in Australia compares to overseas/elsewhere?
I think, as a woman, it’s generally safe to travel in Australia. However, no matter what, it is good to exercise precaution and not take safety for granted. This applies to any country.
I’ve worked in restaurants and delivered food to pay my bills during breaks. Most customers are polite, but there are the minority that are difficult because of food preferences and allergies. I find this builds character!Shairah Radzi
Sofiri: What is it about the Australian political system that appeals to you?
People can speak their minds about anything under the sun. However, at times it also surprises me that people fight/argue in parliament meetings. I have not seen this in my home country.
Sofiri: What are some important questions aspiring students should ask themselves before they select a course and educational provider?
Does this course fit my interests and aspirations? Will this course land me a job? Can I afford to pay the tuition fees? Is there anyone that can share their experiences studying/staying in Australia? Like me for example!
Chat with Sofiri Education Expert, Shairah Radzi, now about your study options in Australia. Whether you’re considering an English language course, bachelor degree, master’s degree, or PhD research, Sofiri is a free and convenient way to find out what you’re eligible to study. Our Education Experts are some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the education industry today.