Ever considered studying abroad? Swinburne Online graduate, Aaliyah recommends that you do. She undertook a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) from the Northern beaches of Sydney, where she juggled her degree with two part time jobs and as much travel as she could manage to squeeze in.
Discovering the opportunity
Whilst studying with us, Aaliyah worked as both a part-time behavioural therapist for young children with autism and a casual disability support worker. Although she had originally tried to juggle this work with an on-campus degree, the difficulty of time management saw her take a few years off her studies.
It was when Aaliyah discovered Swinburne Online, that she realised she would be able to flexibly complete her course without the stress of study loads taking over her work and social life. Starting with one unit per teaching period, she was slowly but surely able to finish her degree.
I really enjoyed studying online as I was able to complete the learning materials when and where I wanted. I think it’s so great to still work full-time or travel overseas and be able complete a degree.
With a great passion for travel, even completing her yoga teacher training in India during her studies, Aaliyah was very keen to learn what overseas opportunities were available for online students. When she found that Swinburne Abroad’s exchange and tour programs were open to all students, she applied right away.
Student life in San Francisco
Of Swinburne’s great number of exchange destinations, Aaliyah decided to complete the remaining elective units of her course at San Francisco State University in the United States! Whilst she was impressed with the interesting subjects that she was able to choose, (such as fitness, yoga studies and holistic health), she didn’t have the easiest transition back into campus life from the ease of online.
At first it was difficult for me to actually go to class on campus, especially because I didn’t live on campus and had to commute!
Despite this minor speed hump, Aaliyah thrived in her exchange program and found studying on campus in another country to be an incredibly rewarding experience. She definitely recommends it to all other online students, even just for the variety of interesting courses that you can study.
Aaliyah’s highlight from her trip was the great amount of friends that she made travelled around the US with during weekends and breaks. These students, both international and local are now some of her closest friends.
Life after graduation
Now that Aaliyah has completed her undergraduate course, she is heading towards her career goal of becoming a registered psychologist and is currently looking into studying a psychology honours year. Travel has definitely not been take off her agenda though, with a number of San Francisco State reunions on the horizon.
I have already visited my friend (from exchange) in Germany and stayed at her place for 2 weeks. I’m also planning a trip back to San Francisco just to visit friends over there!
When we met Aaliyah at the March graduation, she was ecstatic to have officially completed her course. She also had a few pieces of advice to share with those currently studying.
- Take any opportunity that Swinburne offers, there are so many available and they really do help.
- Take advantage of the discussion boards and online portal to connect with other students, a lot of them are in the same position as you.
- All of the hard work is worth it in the end!
Online students have a great amount of access to Swinburne exchange programs and study tours. If you, like Aaliyah, have a passion for travel, head to the Swinburne Abroad website to see what study opportunity could be waiting for you!