By Syphann Ly, Cambodia
In late 2020, I was fortunate to be offered a postgraduate scholarship to upgrade my academic merits in Australia by Australia Awards Cambodia during the prevailing pandemic. While excited about my next scholastic experience, I was quite sure that living and studying abroad would be challenging. My concerns, however, seem to have gone; instead, confidence and readiness, I have gained; thanks to Pre-Departure Training (PDT) Program organized by Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which has positively impacted my future studies and my long-term goals.
I am astounded by how the PDT program is designed to help awardees prepare for their exciting adventure ahead in Australia. Due to the unfortunate Covide-19, the course could not begin the class on campus, but was done virtually. It was still fun and productive, owing to all the passionate and inspiring trainers. They had actively provided me and my peers with substantial insights, such as a great understanding of the educational system as well as academic support and services in Australia; the key qualities needed for academic success; and the fundamental aspects of Australian cultures, lifestyles, challenges, and opportunities beyond the educational environment.
The results of the PDT are down-to-earth. Looking back, I, like the other trainees, was anxious, stressed, and overwhelmed by the amount of information provided, but we screamed with joy when we accomplished it. The exhilaration of our PDT graduation and other memories shared were priceless. The feeling of having talented and supportive people around us is incredible. We were encouraged to have faith in ourselves; to be active and cooperative throughout each session; to stay in contact; and to be prepared for our upcoming journey to Australia.
As I walked out of there, the virtual memories would always remain genuine in my heart. I can firmly say that I see many golden opportunities ahead that I once viewed as challenges. I am ready to pursue my dreams in that amazing land, for there I will be able to acquire the knowledge that will help me shape the destiny of my nation.