Student stories

Engineering second student story

Working on a real-time renewable energy project of biogasification has helped engineering management student George, to understand the potential management issues around the renewable energies sector and how to make projects more economical.

My name is George. I am from India. I have done engineering in electronics. Now I am here at Southern Cross University doing Master of Engineering Management, MBA.

I am working on a real-time renewable energy project which will be really helpful to analyse and understand the management issues around the renewable energies sector.

The project which I will be working with is the waste wood which can be used to produce the synthetic gas which will be converted to produce electricity so that we don’t need to depend on the fossil fuels. Working on this real-time project of biogasification helps me to learn different issues about the renewable energies sector and how we can make the project more economical.

One of the reasons why I wanted to take Master of Engineering Management was to help the engineering projects to be environmentally friendly and how we can ensure the sustainability of projects.

Strategic Asset Management helps us to learn how you can maximise the utilisation of an asset and to reduce the wastage.

Stakeholder analysis helps to learn what are the different stakeholders inside a project.

All of our tutors are industry experts in their different fields of activities helping to ensure the sustainability. These experts give us ideas about how each industry measures different kind of outcomes or their targets which is related to the environment and the well-being of citizens.

So I have been here for the last 1 ½ years and coming from India our assessment methods are different. Here assignments are a lot more important, particularly how we approach our assignments, we have to refer to some academic articles. These things are particularly new to me so I went to the academic skills and they helped me a lot.

My dream is to reduce the carbon footprint and I am interested in the renewable industries sector. Studying at Southern Cross University has helped me to gain valuable skills which will help me to achieve my career goals.

Master of Engineering Management, MBA and the renewable energies sector

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Aviation student story video

Planes have always been something that I loved it's such a wonderful feeling being up there and seeing everything from a different perspective.

You get to fly the direction that you want like the height and everything yeah it's so cool.

I was actually looking for rules that would allow me to progress into something that I wanted which gave me a lot of different opportunities so I didn't have to stick to one pathway. I found this course and they told me with all your hard work you know if you actually study and we'll teach you how to fly and it's amazing.

The CASA license is one of the top three. I carry licenses around the world so no matter where you go in the world you could go anywhere you can do anything. Coming here it makes everything worth it all the hard work and
everything that you do when you're done the opportunities are endless. 

The best thing about it as well is you get to live like at one spot without moving. You start off at Southern Cross University and then we come to AA. Then you'll go through your BAK, PPL all the way to a CPL. After we complete that we'll go back to Southern Cross to finish the business degree and it's so close by.

The people here is like so nice if we have any question there will be like very helpful.

The location here is very good because of the weather unlike other places where it can get snow and overcast. You meet a lot of people who are in your industry who have similar goals so it kind of pushes you you're kind of in competition with these people but in a good way. If you're sure that you want to do it you just got to go for it and then work hard towards it. Here at the Gold Coast it's definitely more fun. Basically if you want to be the best at what you do, this is the place to be.

Become a pilot and study aviation at Southern Cross

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Engineering student story video

For Indian student Sebi, Master of Engineering Management, Master of Business Administration builds on his existing skills as an engineer and makes him think beyond the basic management to how well a company can manage from an engineering perspective through sustainability, asset management and stakeholder engagement.

Hi, I’m Sebi, I am from the southern part of India. I have 5 years of experience in mechanical engineering in the field of aero-engines and turbo charges. My projects on that engineering included monitoring the compliance of the project and how much the money is used over the budget.

I chose the MEM MBA programs because if an engineer wanted to enter management role, it is not just be basic management understanding but it also has to be an understanding of how well you can manage from an engineering perspective. It has sustainability, asset management. Stakeholder engagement. With my experience I understood that these are the points that are more relevant than compared to a business management perspective.

I also work at the Lismore campus of SCU where there is great infrastructure, good lab facilities, good testing facilities, and a home-grown degasification unit. My industry research is to be on from the plastics to fuel which is the next step in the degasification process where plastics is being heated and turned into fuel. With this project I could see a scope and potential of eliminating plastic waste and turning all the plastic wastes into fuel and you can even use the capital which get from the fuel for future projects for the community.

The Southern Cross University Gold Coast campus is in a very beautiful location. You can just walk to the beach when you are so tired. And (the) Gold Coast is a great place to stay because it is very active. It is a place where you can really live and enjoy your studies. So the university has given me an opportunity to work more closely with the people around in the industry as an industry research and also gain experience which is hands on not just theoretical.

I am very sure that with the course and my experience I can reach the top level management, which is one of my career aspirations in the near future.

Master of Engineering Management, Master of Business Administration

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female student facing camera

Gloria is from Tanzania and is studying a Bachelor of Business with a major in marketing. She loves being close to the beach and the great weather at the Gold Coast.  Gloria feels supported in all aspects of her study at Southern Cross University.

My name is Gloria Kitesho.

I'm studying Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing at Southern Cross.

I chose to come to Southern Cross and the Gold Coast in particular because of the reputation of Australian education and we had family friends here who recommended the Gold Coast mostly because of the weather that is the same as the (weather) in Tanzania.

I love that fact because you just study on campus but you also can just walk to the beach. So you get time to study but if you want to clear your mind for a few minutes just walk to the beach. Most of the weather throughout the year, you can go to the beach anytime so it's a very good area to study.

I also remember sitting down with my family and looking at how much international student support is out there for the universities that I was going to go to so Southern Cross became the top one.

The staff are very friendly and approachable. The international office is like where we run to all the time they help us with anything with our studies or anything outside studies and they even been you know bring opportunities out to us anything we want to engage in and they're very friendly so that's another good thing here.

The education system in Australia is very different from Tanzania. The way we are studying the lectures and the rooms they're very comfortable and the technology is very good. To me that really helps when studying.

The technology here helps while studying but they also have well designed study spaces. The library the computer rooms which are accessible 24 hours. It's very good when studying we have the silence areas and there is a channel to silent so it's accessible for someone wants private studies but also someone wants to study in a group.

I engaged in the university and I like it because it doesn't just feel like a place you come to study it feels like home too, like people know you and you come here and there's places you can go to if you need help. You know people where you can go to if you need anything so it's mostly home and studying all together.

I was surprised I think it's very good to have diversity in the university you get to learn quite a few things from different cultures and I think it's also opens your mind up to new ways of learning and how people do things.

I would definitely recommend Southern Cross University, just because it's beautiful out here, first to the Gold Coast and also the fact that international students get all the support they need it just helps you to study really well.

Studying business at Southern Cross Gold Coast

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Study music student story

Firstly I took an English course in the English College and after graduation I am studying at the uni.

We’re going to kick off with a song called “Drifting” and it’s written by a Swedish lady called Anna Begurlof.

I was born in a little town in the middle of Sweden. My mum always listened to Pink Floyd, had Bjork like CDs and I was a big mess when it came to music.

I was enrolled in Environmental Science and during O' week I realised there was a music program here and I was like ‘Oh my god’ I can’t not do it.

I think I’ve always know that I want to do music. It’s always been there but I think coming here and deciding to do music here has really been good for me. Getting more routines and actually starting to climb up to get up to a professional level. My favourite classes are the one-on-one's with our vocal teacher here.

Right now I am doing stage management which is making sure that everything runs smoothly and it’s on time and making sure things that are meant to be on stage are on stage. I’m also doing more things later, working at festivals. We have really good contacts with festivals around the area.

Every Wednesday I run open mic at the Unibar. If you want you can sing a song, play guitar. I am the open mic lady.

First up on stage we have my beautiful friend Dylan Peate. I go to the library a lot because they have a really good sections for both music, mixing and production and they have a whole area with just CDs that you can borrow too. It’s one of the best libraries I’ve ever been to.

What I like about Lismore is it’s a very diverse and accepting community. I’m vegan and a lot of people here really care about that and a lot of 'whole food' shops and really nice cafes and the nature is just amazing. Just here at the campus its really nice to step outside for a bit and have a short walk, see some koalas.

I’ve really had the space to grow and choose my own way and have always been supported, all the way.

Studying Contemporary Music at the Lismore campus

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Students walking along path talking

A study abroad session at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus offers students a wonderful experience in a relaxed country atmosphere. The Lismore campus is located about 40 minutes inland from Byron Bay and is home to a Koala Centre in a spacious green space.

Study Abroad - Lismore 

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girl sitting at table with a book

Giselle is a Brazilian student who has found that studying English at Southern Cross’ Lismore campus has been the perfect environment to study English.

One of the reasons that I chose here is because to study at a University I can focus more on my English and my skills and I really feel that here I can be different than the larger cities. I can share my house or share some moments here at university with local people with the Australian people.

One of the activities I like here was the group presentation when I did a task with some classmates and we did the research about another country.

I feel that I have really improved some skills and the university here offers an amazing library. It’s a place where I really like to spend the time after class when I am really read to focus on my studies.

The Lismore campus is an amazing campus there are lot of green areas here that you can relax or choose silent places to study.

There a lot of beaches near here, one of them is Byron Bay so many activities like waterfalls.

I think I have the perfect environment here to study English


Então, pros brasileiros que estão pensando em estudar na Southern Cross University, eu realmente recomendo!

É o lugar que tem o perfeito ambiente para estudar o inglês. Você vai estudar numa universidade que tem toda a infraestrutura, tudo que a gente realmente precisa!  

E aqui no campus de Lismore é mais fácil ainda desenvolver o inglês porque é numa área regional, a gente realmente se força a estudar e a falar o inglês porque é muito nativo, muitas pessoas da região.

Então eu realmente recomendo! Eu estou tendo uma experiência maravilhosa aqui e aperfeiçoando muito o meu inglês.


So, for the Brazilians who are thinking of studying at Southern Cross University, I really recommend!

It is a place that has the perfect environment to study English. You will study at a university that has all the infrastructure, and everything that we really need!

And here at the Lismore campus it is even easier to develop English because it is in a regional area, we really force ourselves to study and speak English because it is a place with many people native to the region.

So, I really recommend it! I am having a wonderful experience here, and greatly improving my English.

Studying English - Lismore

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Study Abroad at SCU student story

I got admission from a few other universities as well so I went through filtering stuff.

Going through the units given here (at Lismore campus), where it’s located, the curriculum, all the facilities for international students. When I looked into Lismore campus, for Southern Cross University, for my subject which is Master of Forest Science, it was a perfect environment to study in.

The University is open to all kinds of students from everywhere, from all creed, culture, religion or colour. No one would judge you or criticise you for what you wear, how you speak, what you speak, what your first language is, what your colour is or anything. Everyone is considered a part of Southern Cross University.

Living on campus is another whole experience. You get to mingle with all the other international students, you get to share their culture, their views, how they eat their food, their languages. It’s wonderful to get together with other international students.

Southern Cross University has been a positive experience. Interacting with my lecturers, they are always approachable. They try to give as much exposure as you need in your field. And we have this huge library with lots of books in all kinds of subjects and there is (are) a lot of resources and online help.

You get everything you need to be successful in your studies. My supervisor has always encouraged me to find my own area of interest so that I can continue my research, (into) my thesis on that particular field.

From day one onwards, my supervisors (and) my professors gave me a clear idea of what I should expect. Then I decided I would do my further thesis on pest management in plantations and I approached my professor with this idea and he said "wow" that is a great area to start your research on and he invited me to a colloquium, which is where scientists and researchers meet and talk about the disease and pest management in Australia.

You will get everything you need from Southern Cross University in the fullest.

Study Abroad at Southern Cross University

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English at SCU College student story

Juwon is from Korea and studying English at Southern Cross. She loves the koalas on campus and sharing her culture with other students. Learning English away from the major cities has forced her to speak English all the time.

Studying English at Southern Cross University has been a wonderful experience. I met a lot of nice friends and the teachers are very friendly and they try to make us improve our English. I like the Koala hospital at Southern Cross University.

I can see a lot of koalas and they are so cute I was a university student in Korea and I had to write a lot of reports and I was not good. I learnt a lot of new skills about how to write good academic reports.

I live in share house in the city of Lismore, like downtown in the centre of Lismore and I could meet a lot of people in my share house and some are Australians and some are European and they are very friendly. We share our cultures and it is so good. People that live in Lismore are very friendly and they will talk with me when I walk on the street.

(Back in Korea) I was in a big city and there were a lot of Koreans and sometimes I spoke Korean but I can speak English every day (now) so I think it has been very good for me - improving (my) English.

The library is very good, (it has) a lot of computers and we can use (them) whenever we want. (The library also has) a lot of books, so sometimes I read a book, some English books and it helps me to do my homework.

Studying English at Southern Cross University has been a wonderful experience.

Studying English SCU College

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Gold Coast campus building

International Business student Andrea (Italy) says studying at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast was the best choice he could have made. His lecturers love their subjects and teaching, creating a stimulating learning environment.

Study Business - Gold Coast

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Exercise Science student story

Brazilian student Alex is studying Clinical Exercise Physiology at the Lismore campus of Southern Cross University and feels totally embraced by the university community. Alex loves the accessibility of the campus, close to Byron Bay and the Gold Coast beaches. As a huge soccer fan Alex is impressed by the Liverpool Football Club International Academy in Lismore, a partnership with Southern Cross University and the Liverpool Football Club.

If I were to choose one word to describe my experience at this university wouldn’t be difficult, it would have to be “gratitude”. I had the opportunity to study at other universities but my experience at Southern Cross University was unique.

When I’m around campus I don’t just interrelate with student in my field of study, but I get to know other students from other areas of study as well, especially international student.

We become a community, and this helps us adapt in a new town. Probably in other institutions located in big cities, this relationship is not as intimate and close as it is at Southern Cross.

When we decided to move to Lismore we thought: “Where is Lismore? Wow it’s a small town”, but when we checked the map and saw where Lismore is located we got extremely excited with the possibility of being so close to Byron Bay.

We are at 40km from Byron Bay, 30 minutes’ drive from Ballina which is fantastic! We are very close to the Gold Coast and only a little further (2.5 hours’ drive) we are in Brisbane!

So, all of that helps us feel like part of the Australian culture. This university is very well structured, not only when it comes to innovative technologies as you can see in this room here, we have cutting edge equipment for analysis, but also, I believe it is one of the only universities that has a partnership with one of the greatest clubs in the world, Liverpool. This provides an opportunity for the student to learn a different philosophy, from a professional football club, integrated with the academic life.

The Health Clinic has a team of Doctors, Nurses, Psychologists, and the Clinical Physiologists working together with this multidisciplinary team. This was one of the things that caught my attention when I was researching about this university and its program. This is the future of chronic disease treatment and improvement of health in general, it all comes down to how we integrate physical activity into the medical treatment plan.

They embraced me and didn’t treat me as just another international student, here I feel valued, and the only word I can use to describe my experience at this university is “gratitude”. 

Studying a Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology

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Studying on the Gold Coast student story

Mica and Sharmilla are students from the Philippines studying at Southern Cross University on the Gold Coast. Studying in Australia has helped them to grow personally and understand the value of diversity.

Sharmilla: What inspired me to go to Australia was because I wanted to build my own business in the Philippines and I think having the international immersion I could see the perspective from diverse people as well which I think is important from a business perspective as well.

Mica: I think it’s up to you if you want to make change in your life. For me it’s for my own personal development.

Sharmilla: It’s a good experience to become independent. I think because in the Philippines you are used to having people around you, your family and friends. It’s not that it’s a bad thing but living alone and having no-one to rely on at first, is a good thing for me to be independent. Also I have met so many international people, which I think is good, especially for a student who is doing a business degree.

Mica: These friends that I have made here they are not just from Australia, I have Australian friends, German friends, Swedish friends, Italian friends, Brazilian friends.

Sharmilla: Even if we have different cultures or we are from different parts of the world, we all get along. That is when you see that you will also have something in common with them.

Mica: I basically came here alone, it was overwhelming at first but when you meet these kinds of people, these wonderful people that is when you realise it’s not hard to try and go to some other place because you will definitely make new friends and you will consider them as family.

Sharmilla: I like here at the Gold Coast you can just walk 5-10 minutes and you are in the beach already.

Mica: Normally what we do on a weekend we would just walk out from our place and we would be right at the beach. We normally go surfing and then we put out a blanket, put on some music and some snacks like do a picnic.

Sharmilla: And then after that I can get back to my uni work all refreshed. Compared to what I had in uni in the Philippines the facilities here are more advanced and the facilities are open 24/7 which I think is very beneficial for the students that would want to concentrate more because for me I can’t concentrate at home so I go to uni any time of the day even at 10 o’clock at night and the facilities are still open.

Mica: As I went to Singapore two months ago to meet my family. They can see that I have changed at lot, maybe in the sense that I have become more independent and they can see that I am trying to find my own success in Australia.  

I think that is the most wonderful thing and I never regret anything that I did.

Living and Studying on the Gold Coast

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Bachelor of Accounting - Lismore student story

Living close to Byron Bay has provided, Steffen with a good study, lifestyle balance. His location also allows him to make the both of our Gold Coast and Lismore campuses where he enjoys the small class sizes and the interactive format at Southern Cross University.

I quite enjoyed studying at Southern Cross University. I recently finished my Bachelor in Accounting and I enjoyed the small class sizes.  They were always really interactive and great support from the tutors and lecturers and now I'm about to complete my honours.

And also the academic support in completing this research thesis is quite amazing my supervisors are really switched on really helpful.

I'm feeling confident with my honours degree that I can progress to the next step and do my PhD. Hopefully at Southern Cross University.

Living close to Byron Bay is quite an amazing thing to me. I'm close to the beach. I can go scuba diving. If I feel like it I can go surfing or just for a beach walk and it really gives me good study and lifestyle balance.

It's only about 40 minutes to the Gold Coast campus and I can just drive onto the highway and I'm pretty much there. There's never a rush hour on the highway, it's always free it's perfect. Yeah the Gold Coast campus is quite modern and you can see the beach and it's literally 300 metres from the beach so if you need to study break it just walk to the beach go for a swim and you're refreshed.

It's quite convenient for me to come here to listen or to use the facility here such as the library and it's quite relaxed learning environment and I've got all the facilities I need. Computers, research facility, databases.

Studying at Southern Cross University was a quite unique experience for me.

It certainly improved my English and I also got a lot more confident and the study life balance as I mentioned before is quite unique and it helped me definitely, getting through my degree.

Studying Business (Honours) - Lismore

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Two girls riding bikes

I would never regret coming here to Australia, it was a really good experience and I can just recommend it to everyone.

Cycling around the Gold Coast is so great because we can always cycle directly at the beach so there is always a cycling track along the beach. So that’s very cool to cycle alongside the ocean because we can’t do that in Germany. We are so happy that we found something close the uni. Sometimes we even walk because when it’s nice weather we can just walk along the beach.

Finding accommodation at the Gold Coast was really easy. We had help from the staff at SCU and they have a website called unistays. And we found accommodation really close to the University and we are so happy that we found this accommodation. And we have a great landlord and with a pool. It’s still sunny even though it’s almost winter and it’s warm. It’s not comparable to the winter we have in Germany – not at all.

It’s just like summer in Germany. Winter in Australia is like summer in Germany. Here at the Gold Coast it is really easy to meet new people and make new friends. You can keep in contact and keep in touch and you can just text them and ask if they are free for the day and you meet with them at the beach its really cultural - it’s multi-cultural.

Another thing at the University is that we do much group work in the classes so we do a lot of group activities during the classes, which I think is really good because it means you always have to do something on your own and then work in a group and you also learn how to work in a team.

Our English has improved a lot because we are foreigners speaking English but because everyone just speaks English but I think that’s a good part because you always have to search for words, if you don’t know the work you have to explain with your hands.

So I think the study experience here at the Gold Coast campus has been very good.

I would recommend it to everyone who is looking for an experience to study abroad semester and is looking for something else and who wants to explore the world I would say.

So I can really recommend coming here to study for one semester and see something different.

Study Abroad - Gold Coast

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Study Accounting student story

Being able to do the whole thing, having Lord Ganesha and celebrate him in the right way in the right traditions, it makes you feel proud and it makes you feel more rooted and grounded to the culture that you come from.

The current place that I live, it’s easier and accessible to go the Indian grocery as well as the farmer’s markets to get cheap food.

Studying internationally gives you the opportunity to meet a lot of international students and to learn about their culture and their traditions. That experience in itself is very good because I have a lot of Filipino friends and a lot of Spanish friends, which in fact I can speak a bit ‘como estas’, yeah ‘como estas’, ‘how are you’?

I have also been International Ambassador for Southern Cross University and it’s more like a buddy-up program, where you become friends with the new ones and tell them, you just guide them through. I did this because when I was new at this University I saw other students helping me out and you are very new and you don’t know how the course is going to treat you and I reckon it’s the best place to come I feel. Coming to university makes me happy.

The education system in India is not assessment orientated. It’s just exams so for me it was very necessary to understand what am I supposed to do in an assignment. They are structured in a way that bit by bit your getting prepared for the last exam, the final exams so that you don’t have study everything just at the end.

So the system is different but it is good and it is quite adaptable. So we have a service called Academic Skills where if you are struggling with an assignment you can just book an appointment and even the toughest of the units that we had I reckon even the professors make it easy for you. Because if you are not comfortable asking questions during the class you can always ask the question after the class and they are always happy to answer you.

The people that you meet over here, it gives you a perspective for life that makes you believe that you can definitely make a mark in the world. It’s just amazing. I love every bit of the decision that me and my husband made to come to Australia and we are living it.

Studying Accounting on the Gold Coast

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