When Katlyne chose to come to Adelaide to study for her postgraduate qualification, she was blown away by the warm welcome she received which made her feel at home in Adelaide. The support and guidance continue even after she has completed her studies. We spoke to Katlyne about her experiences while studying in Adelaide.
Name: Katlyne Bundal
Course: Master of Business (International Business) at Flinders University
Home country: Philippines
How did you find settling into your life in Adelaide?
I’d heard that Adelaide universities were very welcoming to international students, but I was blown away by how much support my university had for me. The International Student Society helped me so much. They pick you up from the airport when you arrive and take you to your accommodation. And they offer many local activities and opportunities to join travel tours throughout the year. At the beginning of each semester, there’s a special orientation program for international students, on top of the general orientation programs available to all students. They really helped me to settle in and get ready for my life in Adelaide.
Did you participate in any work placements as part of your studies in Adelaide?
Yes, I took a work placement with Zonte’s Footstep, a winery in the beautiful McLaren Vale region. I wanted to do a placement because I wasn’t going anywhere for the summer holidays and this way I could continue to work on my studies as the work experience contributed towards my course credit.
I was able to give a preference for the type of company I would work with, so I chose a winery. I have an interest in export and import business, and wine is one of South Australia’s biggest exports. I worked three days a week, mostly in administration and marketing, and learned all about the cellar and restaurant operations. I was also able to help with their plans to expand into international markets with the knowledge I had from my studies of international trade.
It was a wonderful experience, and I still keep in touch with the owner. It was also an excellent chance for me to improve my communication skills. I picked up lots of Aussie slang from my colleagues!
You’re about to graduate. What’s next?
I’ve finished my studies and am looking forward to my graduation ceremony next month. I’m still deciding what my next move will be. My university is continuing to help me by referring me for job opportunities.
I’m open to what may come. I’d love to stay in Adelaide for a little longer and get more experience in corporate roles as a graduate. I like the lifestyle. It’s very easy and flexible. Maybe after that, I’ll go home to build my own business. But I’d like to get to a position where I can still come back and work or consult in Australia. Maybe go back and forth between the Philippines and here.
How do you think studying and working in Adelaide will help shape your career?
Being a graduate with an Australian education is a big plus for applying for jobs in my home country, or anywhere else. An Australian education is highly regarded around the world.
What would you say to students thinking about coming to Adelaide to study?
Go for it! It’s a diverse, open-minded city where you can meet so many people. People have a misconception of Adelaide as being boring compared to Sydney and Melbourne, but I like it better here. You have more time for self-discovery and meeting other people. It’s good to explore other cities, but nice to go back home to Adelaide where it’s full of life, but without the stress.