"Social work is a great job that facilitates and empowers people in need. My favourite part of my course is that it has helped me develop empathy. Moreover, the Master of Social Work is qualified by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW)."
Ru started her Master of Social Work at the University of Melbourne in 2019, after completing a Bachelor of Public Administration back home in China.
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Why the Master of Social Work?
I took part in internships and volunteer work in some non-governmental organisation back home in China, where I learned how hard life could be for some vulnerable groups. Influenced by these experiences, I began to feel motivated to make a difference. Coming from a developing country, I believed that I could learn more from a western society like Australia about social welfare and mental health, which was why I made up my mind to study the Master of Social Work at the University of Melbourne.
Social work is a great job that facilitates and empowers people in need. My favourite part of my course is that it has helped me develop empathy.
Moreover, the Master of Social Work is qualified by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). I have faith in the University of Melbourne’s education quality.
My goal is to find a job as a social worker in Australia when I graduate. This way, I can put what I have learned into practice and get more hands-on experience in this field. I am sticking to my goal and am trying to improve my expertise
Why the University of Melbourne?
The open and friendly culture at the University of Melbourne has really inspired me.
People at the University of Melbourne are kind to each other regardless of their different backgrounds and no one judges you by your differences. It is easy to make friends with other classmates and learn from each other. I have been inspired to be more positive and open-minded.
Transition to university:
The University and our Faculty support students with orientation and other lectures during the semester to help us develop our communication skills and learning strategies. These helped my transition.
I also attended an English class for international students called Melbourne Talks, where I improved my English and made friends from different backgrounds.
To prepare us for our future careers, the Master of Social Work program offers classes that showed me what life is like for different people, as well as classes where I can improve my communication skills. I feel like I have become a better communicator both professionally and in my own life. I am able to stand in others’ shoes and avoid words that may possibly hurt others.
Some of my classes require students to practice in groups or do assignments in pairs. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know more classmates and make some friends. During this process, quite a few classmates offered me help, so I stopped feeling lonely and helpless as a newcomer and began to fit in. I feel I am supported and like by these friendly classmates and have thus become more confident.
Advice for students
I would advise future students to be prepared for an English environment and Australian culture. Good English skills will help students fit in more easily. Social Work students especially need excellent language skills to communicate with clients. And if students are familiar with Australian culture, it will be easier to adapt to both campus life and a future career in Australia.