Career pivot: from engineering to psychology

Originally studying engineering in Hong Kong, Stone Leung pivoted his career path when he discovered his passion for psychology through reading self-help books.

After spending 2021 completing his foundation studies online, Stone has just arrived in Adelaide and is ready to start his Bachelor of Psychological Science on campus. Stone shares with us his travel journey and what he is most excited about now that he has arrived.

Stone saying goodbye

Why did you choose your degree? 

When I was working in my former company and studying engineering in Hong Kong, I was pretty stressed because of the responsibility and workload so I started looking for some solutions to tackle my emotional issues. Then, I discovered a book written by Alfred Adler, the father of individual psychology and one of the most famous psychotherapists. I was impressed by his explanation of the feelings of inferiority and found that I was very interested in psychology, especially in analysing human’s emotional reactions and behaviours. I would like to understand myself deeper and have a more remarkable ability to help others who suffer from emotional disorders.

Why did you choose the University of Adelaide?

The first reason is that the University of Adelaide is one of the most prestigious universities in Australia. It has a long history of cultivating human resources in different aspects of society, so I believe that it has an enormous teaching experience. Its teaching system can provide abundant support for students’ all-rounded development. Also, its international reputation is high because it is a member of Go8, which represents the highest research level in Australia. Therefore, it is easier for me to find an internship or job in other foreign countries if I continue my education at the University of Adelaide.

Furthermore, the facilities of the University of Adelaide are excellent. In terms of academic facilities, it is home to the AHMS building that contains multiple laboratories for conducting experiments. There is also a clinical research facility that enables students to be involved in different tests and express their creativity to originate new therapeutics. Also, there are some convenient amenities, such as hub central and bike-riding facilities.

Moreover, the biggest reason for choosing this university is that it provides a clear pathway to become a psychologist since its psychological undergraduate degree and postgraduate degree are approved by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council.Stone Leung

Also, the course that I chose is flexible. In the first year, I only need to study two core psychology courses each semester, and I can choose two electives from a wide range of choices, including anthropology and sociology. In my opinion, the flexibility and freedom of selecting different electives can empower students to deeply explore their interests and absorb different knowledge, which can help them to understand the world comprehensively.

Tell us about your journey to campus

I studied an online foundation program last year. Although the online lessons were great and the teachers were very professional and considerable, I think face-to-face lessons suit me best since I want more interaction with my teachers and classmates. Therefore, I decided to travel to Adelaide to continue my education.

The best way to seek information related to travel to Adelaide is StudyAdelaide. It is very convenient and less time consuming for people to gather information about travelling to Adelaide since it provides a variety of information, comprising the requirements for arriving in Adelaide and where can they get a PCR test. Furthermore, relevant hyperlinks are posted below the information to guide people to these websites for looking for extra information.

Personally, I chose Singapore Airlines to travel to Adelaide, I departed from Hong Kong International airport on 16 January and took a transfer flight from Singapore Changi Airport to Adelaide Airport on 17 January.

Before I travelled to Australia, I downloaded an application called mySA GOV, since we have to use it to scan a QR code in order to get into some venues. Also, I bought an Australian pre-paid sim in Hong Kong for communication and to provide my phone number when required. Especially, an Australian phone number must be provided to an inspector before doing a PCR test in order to receive the result via SMS. Furthermore, I filled in an Australia Travel Declaration within 72 hours before departure. 

After that, I brought my air ticket, Hong Kong ID card, passport, student visa, COE, a negative result of a PCR test, vaccination record, OSHC, Australian Travel Declaration and went to HK airport with my family. After I did a check-in and got a boarding pass at the airport, I met my friends, took photos with them, and said goodbye to them. Then, I went through customs and exit formalities. I reached my departure gate and got into the aircraft there.

After 4 hours, I arrived at Changi Airport, and then I found and reached the transfer gate. Before I got on the flight, I was required to do a security check, and then an Australian incoming passenger card was given to me, I filled it out on the plane. 

I arrived at Adelaide airport in 6 hours and 55 minutes. Then I went to the immigration session; the officer there asked me to show him my passport, incoming passenger card, student visa, OSHC, ATD, COE, vaccination record and a negative result of a PCR test. After he checked my documents, he asked me some simple questions such as where I will stay and how long I plan to stay in Australia. Then, I was permitted to go downstairs to get my check-in luggage and go through the security check. After that, I left the airport and got into a taxi to the Hindmarsh Education Development Centre to get my PCR test done. The process was pretty smooth!

Why is it important for you to have an on-campus experience in Adelaide?

As far as I am concerned, the most valuable thing about having an on-campus life in Adelaide is that I can meet an enormous number of people who have a different cultural background from me. Therefore, I can communicate with them and learn their unique culture and practices. It can broaden my horizon without actually travelling to different countries. Also, it can help me to try different practices to learn from different cultures and improve my cultural acceptance and enhance myself.Stone Leung

Furthermore, studying on campus can enable me to use its instruments and facilities such as the University library and laboratories. It can increase my efficiency of learning and getting practical experience. Also, if I have some difficulties, I can reach AskAdelaide to get advice and assistance from the staff.

Moreover, I can have a better social life if I study on campus. I can have better interactions with teachers and classmates compared to online study. Therefore, it is easier for me to make more friends and have more study buddies to learn and improve together. Also, there are more than 130 clubs at the university, so I guess I can join some of those to find friends who have common interests. It facilitates me to integrate into Australian society.

What are you most looking forward to doing now that you are in Adelaide?

Since it is my first time in Adelaide, I would like to go sightseeing first. I want to see the sunsets in Long Beach, Kingston, watch a football match in Coopers Stadium and visit Waterworld Aquatic Centre since it has been very hot recently.

Who are you most looking forward to catching up with and why?

Honestly, I do not know lots of people in Adelaide since I am new here. However, I would like to meet the teachers who taught me last year in the online foundation program – they were very friendly and helpful. They also provided me with lots of support and advice, so I would like to see them in person to say thank you.

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