Creating healthy habits for offshore study

Master of Public Health student Xiao Li shares his top tips for starting your studies online and reflects on why he chose to pursue a career in the public health sector. 

Student - Xiao Li

Why did you choose your degree? 

After working for several years in health, I asked myself “have I really been making a difference?” The answer is "plenty, but it could be more". In my daily work, I help individual patients, which takes up my time and energy. But I hope to provide more patients with effective medical attention. I am curious about, compassionate for, and committed to improving the communities we live in, so studying to prepare for a career in public health is a wise choice.

Why did you choose the University of Adelaide? 

The graduate program at Adelaide has eminent and outstanding professors and can provide me with new opportunities to make a positive impact on the patients in my country, and even in the world. Furthermore, I wanted to experience a rigorous, challenging and rewarding program. I want to explore and discover facts and answers rather than receiving passively.

How have you adjusted to online learning?

We all know that online learning is different from face-to-face study; I have to admit that I was worried about the teaching quality and equal study opportunity for remotely learning. However, I underestimated the dedication of all the faculty in the Department of Public Health, all of them are outstanding, providing me with new opportunities to improve my knowledge and skills.

Offshore study has provided me with an opportunity to reschedule my study journey. As the saying goes: "When one door closes, another opens." I have a more flexible atmosphere for my learning. In addition, I prefer to discuss problems with other classmates and professors, so I frequently use the MyUni discussion board to ask questions. I also can learn from other's questions.Xiao Li

What support services have you accessed – were they helpful?

Yes, all of them are helpful! I joined the International Peer Support program in my first semester, which provided me with much information about other support services and tips on learning courses. The English Assist program is also a helpful, especially for those in their first semester. The program provides a bunch of academic communication skills for doing presentations or discussions. The most helpful program for me is the Writing Centre. I always made appointments with the Writing Centre on Zoom for all my paper assignments. They help me polish my papers, resulting in a good mark.

What advice would you give to other international students starting their studies online?

My first piece of advice is to make a timetable for your study. I always make a schedule for each course at the beginning of the semester. It will help you built a map and understand when it's time to start your work.

Joining as many drop-in session as you can is my second advice. Online students may have less chance to discuss questions with professors than face-to-face students. However, most professors dedicate their time to hold drop-in sessions for online students. My professors' dedication provides a most flexible and encouraging atmosphere for me, positively impacting my academic performance

What are the top 3 things you are looking forward to when you arrive in Adelaide?

  • I would like to meet all of my professors who have taught me in person.
  • I want to take a walk around the campus.
  • I also would like to read in the library at the University.

How do you think a degree from The University of Adelaide will assist your future career?

The degree offered me a new opportunity to select different career paths. In my degree, most assignments are designed based on practical requirements. So, with many scenario simulation studies, I may become more competitive. Besides academic ability, communication ability is also essential. Through online learning, my communication skills by writing emails is also improved.

What is your job role now/ if not, what are your plans for the future?

I have worked as a pharmacist for 8 years. For now, I am considering doing a PhD after I graduate. Alternatively, I might want to apply for a job in IQVIA.

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