By Razan
26 June 2023

Studying abroad, experiencing a foreign country, and meeting new people from diverse backgrounds has always been a dream of mine. My name is Razan and I'm currently a fourth-year international student at the University of Queensland. I am pursuing a dual degree in Business Management (majoring in Business Information Systems) and Arts (majoring in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies).


The desire to serve my community and make a positive impact is one of my strongest passions. Growing up, I was intrigued by my cousins who worked in the medical field and helped people, and I felt this was the only career where I could serve and help others. Upon receiving my high school results, I had to decide between two main options. The options were either to study at one of the prestigious universities around the world or to study in Saudi Arabia for a Bachelor of Medicine and a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). Immediately after high school, I studied MBBS for two years, but I didn't find myself in medicine, so I dropped out and applied for a scholarship program back home.

Having received the scholarship, I had to choose the university where I would study. Both my sister and I were accepted into the same scholarship program, and it was a difficult process for us to compare universities around the globe. Researching countries, universities, and reading other people's reviews and learning from their experiences would have been much easier with an online platform like Flying Chalks. My sister and I were attracted to the lifestyle and multiculturalism of Australia, so we chose to study there. I chose the University of Queensland (UQ), because of its high ranking. On top of that, a relative of mine was pursuing his PhD at UQ at that time, and he recommended the University since it is one of the best universities in Australia for teaching and research. One of my career goals is eventually starting my own business, which is why I studied a Bachelor of Business Management degree. I also saw myself working in diplomacy and foreign affairs, and I decided to do a dual degree, so I can have so many options upon graduation.


UQ Campus

Learning Experience at UQ

UQ's teaching system and learning environment are excellent, and the teaching staff are very approachable and understand the English language barrier for international students. International students can also take English courses prior to starting university at UQ's Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education. There is also an institution called IES that provides foundation programs for international students from countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and many more, who will be studying an undergraduate degree at the university. The foundation program helps international students better understand the Australian academic system before they begin their undergraduate degree.

Student Life Experience at UQ

Upon my arrival in Brisbane, I joined the orientation week activities at UQ, which allowed me to get a better understanding of what the university has to offer beyond the degree. The number of clubs, societies, and associations I found was astounding. There is a wide variety of clubs to choose from, including sports clubs, reading clubs, study clubs, and social societies. Through my years of study at UQ, I have joined the Saudi students’ association, the UQ Women Network, the international students’ association, and the business management society, all of which made my time at UQ more enjoyable and allowed me to connect with peers who shared my interests.

UQ Women's network

Orientation week is a great way for all students to get a head start. I'd also recommend that you utilise the student central and the UQ Union, as they provide many sessions that are beneficial to your studies and life in Brisbane. Even though there is plenty of information online at UQ, I'd still recommend asking for help whenever needed.

Exam Survival Kit from UQ Union

UQ has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. The city of Brisbane has so much to offer, from friendly people to warm weather to beautiful beaches. There is also a lot to love about the University of Queensland, from its teaching staff to its campus and all that is within it. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend applying there!