Imagine taking part in a study abroad experience in a summery paradise, gaining an international perspective and enhancing your studies, all while living in close proximity to incredible white sand beaches and enjoying (almost) year-round sunshine.
The University of Queensland’s (UQ) Queensland in July program makes this all possible. It’s a three-week non-award program that allows students – particularly those in business, science and economics disciplines – to develop their knowledge, skills and networks in sunny Brisbane.
Insider Guides spoke to Paulina Kwiatkowska-Chylińska, a PhD student from Poland, about finding one of the only universities in the world that teach her unique research topic, what she loves about Brisbane, and her unforgettable Queensland in July experience.
In the middle of her PhD in her home country, Paulina began seeking a new challenge.
“I was looking for valuable courses on management, which is related to my PhD thesis,” she says. “It wasn’t easy though – my topic is quite unique.”
That topic is competency development methods in the creative sector, through the University of Lodz’s Faculty of Management. As Paulina explains, “In my job, I support artists and creative organisations in achieving their goals and improving competencies.”
For a while, Paulina struggled to find the course for her, but through dedicated research, eventually, she found the perfect opportunity.
“I sent lots of e-mails to universities all over the world, but I hadn’t found any courses involving management in the creative sector,” she says. “However, I then got an answer from the University of Queensland. The Queensland in July Global Talent Management course at UQ was an obvious choice.”
There was also the added benefit of Paulina’s love of travel: “Travelling the world is my biggest passion, and Australia was at the top of my dream destinations list, so I made my decision and came to Australia.”
QUEENSLAND IN JULY
The Queensland in July program allows you to study at a globally recognised institution ranked in the top 50 in the world. Held by the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Business, Economics and Law, and Faculty of Science at the St Lucia campus, it offers the opportunity to learn in interactive and innovative classes under the guidance of expert teachers. You’ll also enjoy industry field trips on specific courses to help build your practical knowledge and skills. On weekends, you can experience Brisbane’s unique, laid-back city lifestyle, visit nearby world-famous beaches, and get a taste of overseas living.
After getting in touch with Queensland in July’s dedicated mobility coordinator and navigating the program’s prerequisites, requirements and application process, Paulina was on her way to Australia. From the moment she started the program, she began realising the benefits. For her PhD, the academic side of the program helped develop her research.
“Thanks to Dr Nasreen Sultana’s expertise, I gained a lot of necessary information that turned out to be an irreplaceable inspiration to my research work,” she says.
While the theoretical aspects of the Global Talent Management course were directly in line with Paulina’s work, it was the overseas perspective that proved most beneficial. “I think that the most useful experience was working in an international team,” says Paulina.
It was also the community spirit of the Queensland in July program that she enjoyed. “I really felt taken care of from the very first day. I got helpful hints, a cute welcome pack and mental support for the rest of the program. It felt like a small family,” she says.
In addition, Paulina and her team got to enjoy a uniquely Australian trip as a part of the course. “Our trip to ‘Straddie’ [North Stradbroke Island] and a wildlife event were a very nice surprise.”
Paulina and her husband ended up staying in Queensland for an extra week, and now they want to come back to Brisbane as soon as possible.
“I fell in love with the city … the three best things in Brisbane would definitely be: the vibe of the city, barbeques by the river during the sunset, and getting to the UQ campus by ferry. Of course, the wildlife, landscapes, incredible nature and amazing, rare animals are on the top too!”
Studying at the University’s St Lucia campus also exposed Paulina to a different study environment than she was used to.
“My time studying at UQ was too short,” she says. “The huge campus with a lake, swimming pool, libraries, food court and more in one area was very new to me. That amazing surrounding makes studying an amazing experience and helps with building relationships as well.”
ADVICE FOR STUDENTS
Paulina heartily recommends overseas study for all students, especially those who want to work abroad.
“I think studying internationally is one of the most desirable experiences in the labour market nowadays,” she says. “If you’re dreaming of an international career or thinking of working in multicultural organisations, studying abroad is a great first step to achieve your goal.”
For those concerned about language barriers, she offers this advice: “Don’t be afraid if your English isn’t fluent. That is an excellent opportunity to improve your language skills and meet [people from] different cultures.”
And for students looking for a taste of international learning, Paulina encourages checking out Queensland in July.
“If you have an opportunity to take part in this program, I’m sure it will be an unforgettable experience. UQ is a place where you can improve your skills and meet awesome people. If you’re communicative, open-minded and ready to develop yourself, you will be more than satisfied. Don’t think too much and let the journey begin!”
Apply now for our Queensland in July program! Develop your knowledge, skills and networks during our three-week non-award program hosted by The University of Queensland. Choose one of 6 different courses covering areas of business, economics and science. Explore sunny Brisbane in your spare time – you’ll even go on a trip to North Stradbroke Island!