After graduating, every international student has to make the difficult decision to take their qualifications abroad or remain in Australia. Kaixiang Zhu is one example of an international graduate who decided to stay, and many years later, he’s successfully built a life in the Central Queensland town of Rockhampton. Kaixiang’s hard work and persistence throughout his studies has landed him a great job in the field of IT – a feat made all the more impressive because he did so in a regional area.
We spoke to Kaixiang about his study and employment journey, and why he loves living in regional Queensland.
Moving to Queensland
Originally from Guangzhou in China, Kaixiang moved to Queensland in late 2017 to study a Master of Information Technology at Central Queensland University (CQUniversity). When he was deciding where to study, Kaixiang looked for a country with a high-quality tertiary education system.
“I came to Australia because it’s unique compared to other countries and their educational systems. Australia is in third place for education around the world.”
As someone who enjoys a slower pace, Kaixiang quickly settled into the central Queensland town of Rockhampton.
“I’m from a huge city and I don’t like the hustle and bustle, so I like the quiet and peaceful environment of Rockhampton,” he says. “I think one of the reasons I chose Rockhampton was because it’s a small town and I could concentrate on my studies without distractions.”
Entering the world of IT
Kaixiang has always had a passion for IT but didn’t think it was an area he would pursue. He actually chose to study undergraduate medicine in China, and it was only after his graduation that he switched to IT.
“My path was kind of weird because I graduated from a medical school in China and then went to work for an IT company,” he says. “I already had an IT certificate from high school but I didn’t have any proper educational background in IT.”
Kaixiang loved studying a Master of IT at CQUniversity. He particularly appreciated his friendly professors and having access to high-quality resources throughout his degree.
“I really enjoyed everything about my master’s in IT. The educational system fits my needs. The professors, tutors and academic supervisors are very nice so I didn’t find it difficult to study there. I could use all sorts of resources and I think I was one of the people who used the resource system the most!”
Studying a subject he was passionate about meant that when Kaixiang completed his Master of IT, he wasn’t ready to stop studying. So, he decided to continue learning about the field.
“I decided to study a Master of Research because I was still hungry to learn more about IT.”
Building a new life
Since completing his studies, Kaixiang has built a successful life in Queensland and is currently working in his field as an IT specialist. The position requires Kaixiang to do a little bit of everything, but most notably, he is responsible for programming robots.
“It’s almost like having a new friend,” he says. “I like playing around with them. I’m quite busy in the company but I enjoy being busy. I don’t like sitting there and doing nothing. It gives me a sense of fulfillment.”
Kaixiang credits his master’s degree at CQUniversity with setting him up for success in his field.
“In my work I use all the knowledge I obtained from university. I can use what I learned and that’s fantastic.”
Now that Kaixiang is working, he still loves being in Queensland and sees himself living there for years to come.
“I love Queensland. It’s safe and has good weather. I went to other states of Australia but Queensland is still my favourite. A lot of my friends prefer to live in big cities, but I like the quiet of Rockhampton.”