My name is Phunnathorn Phuchivatanapong or Rita to my friends. I came from Thailand to study a Master of Applied Science at the University of Tasmania.

My course major is microbiology and I focus on food microbiology.  When I was choosing where to study I met a professor from University of Tasmania. He gave a lecture about a complex aspect of microbiology in food safety that it is very important for Thai food production companies. He explained it really clearly so everyone understood the concept. That was when I made the decision to study this course here in Tasmania even though it was overseas.

Since my arrival I’ve found other advantages to studying here. Compared to my home town of Bangkok, Hobart is of course smaller and quieter which makes it a good place to study in.

The lecturers are very nice to students. The biggest problem for many international students is being too shy to ask question during class. If we’re not brave enough initially to ask in class we can make appointments to talk with lecturers after class and we also can send e-mails asking questions. Moreover, lecturers record all their lectures and upload them on the student computer system MyLO. It is very helpful for me because I can revise any points afterwards.

Since I started the course I have gained extensive knowledge in microbiology and I have a new network of academics and colleagues in the field. When I return to my country to begin work I’ll be able to apply and adapt my knowledge when working in food industries to produce safe, high quality food products. The training will open up more specialist job opportunities too.

When I am not studying there are plenty of things to do to keep myself busy.  I am a member of UniGym and Uni Kendo Club.  There is also a Thai temple that I go to with my Thai friends during the weekend.  You can also do heaps of really interesting trips around Hobart and the rest of Tasmania -there are so many natural attractions that I can’t find in my home country.

Over the past three years, I have found my lifestyle choices have changed as well. When I lived in Bangkok, I liked to go to shopping and hang out with my friends every weekend. Now I prefer to go camping and walking more than going out for shopping. Tasmania has a lot of national parks and they are very beautiful and different from national parks in my country.  There are many trees and animals that you can find only in Tasmania.

The best things about life on campus are friends and Uni Friends (The University’s Community Friends and Network Programme). My friends and uni mates are very important to me. I have never been lonely studying here because I have many international and Aussie friends supporting, helping and encouraging me. Staff are very kind to international students. When we have a problem, they help and support us.

Tasmania is a very nice place for students who prefer to study because being more compact it is a closer-knit state and is a safe place compared with Sydney or Melbourne. Tasmanian people are kind and friendly to international students. There are not many Thai people in Tasmania which is good as I’ve been able improve my English language really quickly.

If your objective is to graduate from your degree, you should study at the University of Tasmania. UNI Social is very nice for international students because everyone tries to understand, support and help international students. The lecturers are very close to students, so it you have a problem you can let them know.

If you too are interested in taking advantage of the great job opportunities in the food industry why not consider studying a Master of Applied Science (Food Safety) or (Microbiology). We also offer a number of other applied science degrees which may be of interest to you. For more information take a look at the range of degrees here.