Student Stories

Arun’s story: a pathway to postgraduate university study

Arun knew he wanted to pursue his postgraduate studies in agribusiness in Adelaide so he could learn from South Australia’s outstanding food and wine industry. To achieve his goals, Arun undertook a dedicated pathway to university, completing a Graduate Diploma before entering his postgraduate degree. We spoke to Arun about how his study pathway saved him money and enhanced his experience as a student in Adelaide.

Name: Arun Kumar Kothuru
Course: Graduate Diploma of Agribusiness, Ironwood Institute and Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business, University of Adelaide
Home country: India

Why did you choose to study in Adelaide?

I wanted to study agribusiness and food processing, and I chose Adelaide because South Australia has a world-renowned food and wine industry. Here there are diversified crops and food production industries that I can be exposed to and learn from. I liked that my studies here would combine the theory of lectures with practical, hands-on experience. The fact that Adelaide is one of Australia’s most affordable cities to live in was a big advantage too.

Tell me about your pathway to your master’s degree.

After finishing my undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science back home in India, I really wanted to continue into postgraduate studies. I knew I wanted to take the Master’s Degree at the University of Adelaide, and the pathway through Ironwood Institute gave me an excellent opportunity to do this in a way that was much more affordable.

I completed my one-year Graduate Diploma of Agribusiness at Ironwood Institute first, then entered my Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business. Because the University of Adelaide recognised a full year of credit as part of this dedicated pathway, I could enter straight into the second year of the Master’s Degree. This means I’ll still complete the  program in only two years, but I’ve saved a lot of money on my fees. Ironwood offers several pathways to both the University of Adelaide and Torrens University Australia, and I know of six other students from my country taking similar paths to university.

How have you found studying at a vocational college like Ironwood Institute?

I think studying at a vocational college is an excellent way for international students to begin their studies in Australia. It’s smaller than a university, so there is a lot of individualised support. The college helped me with a free English language class, a trainer to show me how to write my assessments and they helped me get a part-time job in my industry, so I’m learning while I’m working. They make the transition from the college to university really easy, because they’re directly involved in the pathway. I think a college like Ironwood is the best place for a newcomer to start.

How has studying in Adelaide prepared you for your future career?

By studying in this city, I’ve had access to many food processing facilities and lots of hands-on, practical experience. The University of Adelaide has great relationships with the local industry, and we’ve visited nearly 25 companies as part of our studies. This has given me the chance to understand the inner workings of my industry and the advanced technologies that are available in Australia. This knowledge and experience have prepared me well to build my career in food processing.

What would you say to students thinking about coming to Adelaide to study?

You have every opportunity in Adelaide, it’s affordable, and there are beautiful places to visit like Kangaroo Island and Glenelg Beach. I’d definitely recommend looking at the many pathway options that can make your university studies more accessible and affordable.

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