ACU Bachelor of Nursing graduate Ayumi Tamang has lived a truly international life. Born in Nepal, raised in the US and now living and working as a nurse in Australia, she crammed a lot of experiences into her 22 years.
The ISS gave her a 50 per cent reduction on her course fees. But studying at ACU wasn’t just a financial decision: Ayumi says she chose ACU because of the university’s commitment to doing good in the community.
“I was intrigued by their values, and I’d also heard a lot of good things about ACU [through my] personal research. Because it’s a Catholic university, [it’s] about working towards helping and making society better,” she says.
Ayumi’s course combined theoretical learning and clinical skills development in the university’s clinical practice labs. She also completed a series of hospital-based clinical placements as part of their studies, giving her the opportunity to apply her skills in a real-world environment.
The coursework was challenging, she says, and the teachers were strict but supportive, reminding students at every turn that the decisions they made would have a direct impact on the health of their patients.
“I would definitely say that whatever we learnt at university, I was able to link it all together [and] consolidate my skills [in the workplace],” she says.
As an international student, getting used to the Australian education system took a bit of time. Ayumi made the most of ACU’s wide range of academic support services, seeking out a range of opportunities to get help with her studies and her assignments.
Among the services she used was Peer-Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), where senior ACU students provide informal tutoring for first-year students enrolled in challenging subjects. All PASS leaders have already completed the subjects themselves with a distinction grade or higher, which means the advice and information they pass on to students is highly relevant.
Ayumi also accessed the ACU Library for help with referencing and writing bibliographies and the Academic Skills Unit to brush up on her maths skills and get advice on her assignments.
“You can book an appointment [with the academic skills unit] and they can help you [with] your assignment, [checking] the pattern and the structure and whether you’re doing it right,” she says.
When it came time to start looking for a job, ACU’s CareerHub was an invaluable resource, teaching Ayumi how to write an effective resumé and CV. The Careers team also ran an event for nursing students that put them in direct contact with prospective future employers.
“It was hosted by the university itself, but there were other hospitals [that came] and in the lecture hall we just listened to them and we could ask them questions,” she says.
Similarly, the ACU International Office organised a series of international student conferences where former nursing graduates came back to talk about their experiences living and working in Australia.
Today, Ayumi – who, aged 20, was ACU’s youngest graduate in 2019 – is working as a registered nurse in Melbourne. She became a permanent resident in May this year.