Creating a community for offshore students

Bachelor of Accounting and Corporate Finance student, Divya Anandarajah, has made some adjustments to her study style since commencing as an offshore student. 

Divya Anandarajah

While studying online has presented some challenges, Divya credits her strong online community of staff and friends with keeping her motivated. Wanting to give back, Divya volunteered as an International Peer Support Mentor, determined to make a difference in others lives. Whatever seemingly insurmountable task is put to the Adelaide Business School or its students, the answer is simply: Challenge Accepted.

Divya always knew that she wanted to do Accounting and Finance, however, did not want to do a degree with elective choices, instead she was searching for a degree that was specific, yet broad, and found that The University of Adelaide was the only Group of 8 university which offered the course that directly suited her needs.

"I wanted to go to a reputable university, in a nice, diverse, and semi-quiet city. The location is perfect for someone like me who enjoys a slower-paced environment where I can still enjoy events, festivals, and city life. I have also heard that there is a very friendly community which is a major factor I looked for, knowing that I will have to move to a different country all on my own," she said.

Why a Bachelor of Accounting and Corporate Finance?

Divya chose the University of Adelaide via an agent who provided her with all the necessary information on the University's business courses. With that information she weighed up her options between a Bachelor of Commerce versus the Bachelor of Accounting and Corporate Finance.

"The program is appealing to me because I am not only learning Accounting and Finance courses, but also occasional general business-related courses. This provides diversity in my degree and allows me to explore other options," she said

"Additionally, I’ve built my writing skills which are vital in any workplace. One would think that by doing a math-related degree, most of my assignments would be math related, however, that is not necessarily the case," she added.

Divya has had to adjust to the online learning environment. "Honestly speaking, with lectures online it can be a struggle to find the motivation to do your work and I succumb to procrastination as well. But at the end of the day, knowing that I have to do well is what keeps me going."

"Firstly, the University of Adelaide is a Group of 8 university (that says something on its own) that is reputable and has high standards. There is also so much flexibility within the degree I am getting as I get to thoroughly explore both sides of Accounting and Finance which gives me an idea of what to expect in my career. Since it is a reputable university, education standards have to be high so I know that the knowledge I am getting is of high standards and wanted by employers. I am getting quality education and skills from a reputable university. The courses are well thought out and provide me with the necessary academic skill set that would aid in my career," she added.

Advice for international students studying online

Divya has the following advice for other offshore students "prepare yourself for online studies - whether that be having a list, schedule or however you can mentally."

"I came into online studying thinking it was going to be easy since all I have to do is sit at a desk and do work. Realistically, it is not that simple with so many other factors such as demotivation from staying home and distractions. Keeping a list has kept me organised so that I can visually see what has to be done," she said.

Future planning and arrival into Adelaide

Divya is looking forward to most a time when she can study face-to-face in Adelaide. What she is most looking forward to is:

  • Firstly, the most important one to me would be to sit in a classroom or lecture theatre and experience physically studying at an institution.
  • Secondly, would be to meet my friends that I met online and other new people by getting involved in clubs, societies and general university activities.
  • Lastly, I would like to explore the city with its culture and people since that was another big part of my choice to come to Adelaide.

"The roles I have currently are as an International Peer Mentor and International Student Support Mentor at the university which I would like to continue throughout my degree. I would like to get internships over the summer to learn more about the practical side of my career and gain insights into what my job would consist of. Through that, I will be able to see if Accounting or Finance is where I should continue my career," she said.

International Peer Mentor program

Divya was introduced to the International Peer Mentor program through another student "The experience she shared about being in the program sounded like a community that I would like to get involved in. The experience on its own is also very rewarding as you get to plan and run events which is something I enjoy. On top of that, you are connected with like-minded people who are all so friendly and supportive which makes the experience that much better." she said

"I am excited about running events but making a difference was also a big part of why I took up the volunteer role. The sense of reward and gratitude you get when someone appreciates what you have done is the best feeling ever. I also really enjoy running the social media pages because it brings out my creativity and lets me explore social media and engagement as I have always been curious about how a field like that operates," she added.

University support services

Whilst studying online she has utilised University support services include International Student Support, Ask Adelaide, the IT desk and Career Services to help with queries regarding her degree, classes, guidance in my career and much more. She found that all of the services were very attentive and prompt when it came to guiding her on next steps or helping her solve a problem.

"The live chat function which each faculty and Ask Adelaide uses has been a big part of helping me get answers to my problems quickly. The staff have been very helpful whenever I needed anything, have always made sure that I get the answers that I need, and always had a follow-up to make sure I am doing well. There is also this service that calls offshore students every few months just for a check-up to make sure we are heading down the right path and to check if we needed help with anything," she said.

Get involved

Divya is just one of many incredible offshore International Peer Support mentors overcoming adversity and dedicating themselves to supporting other students navigate university life. If you are considering starting or continuing your studies online but want to know what support is out there, visit our offshore study support page or reach out to one of our friendly team.

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