We had the chance to sit down with Divyangana Sharma, an international student from India who is currently studying nursing at Holmesglen Institute. Studying in Melbourne has given Divya many opportunities to thrive: she is an Epworth Fellowship student under the Nursing Education Collaboration Holmesglen Epworth (NECHE) program, which is allowing her to continue from a Diploma of Nursing to a Bachelor of Nursing. Once she has finished her bachelor degree, Divya plans to work in critical care or the emergency department, and pursue post graduate qualifications.

Why study in Melbourne?

During her time at Holmesglen, Divyangana (or Divya as she like to be called) has taken on the role of advocate for other students through various roles, including as chair of the institute’s Student Representative Council. She was named International Student of The Year at Holmesglen and International Student of the Year - Higher Education and International Student of the Year - Premier’s Award at the 2021-22 Study Melbourne Victorian International Education Awards

But it wasn’t the promise of awards that attracted Divya to Melbourne. Instead, it was the fact that Melbourne is a good place for international students, and especially nursing students, to study in.

I chose to study in Melbourne because of the highly advanced hospitals and medical infrastructure. As a nursing student, I will have my skills honed in state-of-the-art hospitals, using high technology medical equipment is a definite advantage I pursue my career goals.

And of course, there’s the cultural aspect of Melbourne too, which Divya also loves.

Melbourne is home to diverse art and food that definitely adds on to the experience. Let's not forget the different varieties of cafes!

Melbourne is one of the best cities for international students

While studying in Melbourne, Divya has been able to enjoy many “firsts”: she has attended her first pride parade, her first concert, her first experience working in the corporate world, her first time watching a T20 World Cup match and many more. Melbourne is home to many events that make the experience of studying here extra special.

Divya has loved attending these events because it has helped her learn more about the city.

“I have learned more and more about the local communities which has helped me overcome the cultural shock,” she said.

Melbourne is widely acknowledged as one of the best cities in the world for international students. In fact Melbourne has been ranked as Australia’s best student city for eight years in a row. It is also Australia’s most liveable city for 2023. Part of its appeal is the diversity of cultures in Melbourne, and one thing that helped Divya feel welcome was sharing spaces with other international students.

Being in any space where international students shared their experiences was definitely something I appreciated. Playing Holi in the city was another way I felt connected with my community. In Werribee, we have many Indian restaurants that have amazing food and reminds me of home.

Finding ways to beat challenges while studying in Melbourne

While arriving in Melbourne just before the pandemic lockdowns began was tricky, Divya faced this challenge by staying connected with other international students online.

I think it's important to remember that you'll face challenges that might deviate you from your original goal of moving abroad. It is important to keep reminding yourself the reason why you made the move and continue to work towards it. Focus on the end goal; the challenges you face are a part of the journey.

Now a happy resident, she believes that Melbourne is the best place for international students to choose as their study destination as they return to Australia. When asked why she would recommend studying in Melbourne, Divya was very clear:

You'll have the opportunity to be something beyond your course and classroom. You'll find ways to pursue things beyond what you imagined.