Where is your home country?
What languages do you speak?
Portuguese, Spanish, English and some French
I have Italian citizenship and I cannot speak more than two words in Italian (not proud of this and adding Italian as my next spoken language!)
What is the name of your course?
PhD in Education
What is the name of your education provider?
University of Wollongong
Tell us about your experience studying in NSW
I never had doubts that choosing to study in NSW would be a great experience and I can say that it was the best decision of my life. I am not sure what the future holds, so I always take every opportunity that I see in front of me. I usually think about what will come after I finish this course and deep inside, I am not sure I want it to be finished. I enjoy my life as a student as I have never enjoyed before. Although I am not too young anymore, I believe I have learned more in the recent years than I have done in my entire life. The whole experience as an international student provided and still provides me with more than content that I will apply to my career as a teacher. I can say I have been having a complete experience that is helping me to build my future. I do not regret a single moment, it has been a great path.
I never had doubts that choosing to study in NSW would be a great experience and I can say that it was the best decision of my life
What has been your favourite experience in NSW?
I can say that I live where everyone goes on holiday. Wollongong is a beautiful place. Going for long walks and rides are definitely my favourite experiences. Sometimes when I share pictures with friends and family back home, they think I am sharing postcards. I love the way the city is becoming more bike-friendly every day. Riding my bike everywhere is a privilege. I also love to travel. Around NSW you can see so many different landscapes that, within a couple of hours of driving, it may seem that you travelled to a different country. It is easy to travel around, train is a great and cheap option to get everywhere. I have been many times to the Hunter Valley and down the South where the sand is very clear. From farms to beaches, NSW is a state for every traveller's taste.
What advice do you have for other international students?
This is my greatest advice: take the opportunities. Not being scared to take risks can bring you more positive outcomes than you expect. When you are from a country that does not offer many opportunities like mine, you might feel overwhelmed and a bit sceptical with everything. But I can say, opportunities here are waiting for you. You have to show that you are interested in being an agent of your own future. Make friends, say yes more and be curious. This is a land of discoveries for those who want to know more. Every institution here has programs for every type of student, being curious to find your own path can be rewarding. I have always participated in many different events and programs and for this I know many people. I made friends and memories for a life time. You can do it too.
What opportunities has studying in NSW given to you?
I have never had so many opportunities since I started studying in Australia, more precisely in NSW. I always had the feeling that times goes by in a slower way around here because I can do a lot within my 24 hours. I was not a researcher before starting my PhD and had to learn how to become one. I have more than 20 years of experience in the classroom as a primary teacher, so changing fields was scary. However, I've been having great support from my institution and colleagues. Through this support, I could have time to engage in other projects that I have always been passionate about, such as helping others and the environment. The many programs for volunteering that my institution offers got me engaged with helping others. The opportunity to fund a bike club opened doors to contribute to the environment in many different manners. These all brought results that I never thought would be possible. Every single opportunity that my institution offers me, I embrace. Therefore, I do have my face well known around here. I love the way they give students voice to participate in the decisions they make. It is just great to have the feeling you are valued and considered by your university. I've had the opportunity to present in international conferences, publish papers, work as tutor at the university and even meet the vice-chancellor (although it was an online meeting) and the city mayor in person.