When Alexander Lim decided to pursue his bachelors degree overseas, he didn’t anticipate just how much studying in Tasmania would inspire his love for philosophy.

‘It was quite fascinating to me that there was a large island south of Australia which I’d never heard of and I was excited by the prospect of studying on an island’, says the Malaysian native.

After completing his Foundation Program at the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and then graduating from a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Philosophy, the twenty-three-year-old was inspired to continue his studies here. ‘One of my supervisors already specialised in the field I wanted to study in – the philosophy of physics – and I already felt so comfortable with all of the lecturers’, he says.

Despite not speaking much English when he arrived in Australia, Alexander’s studies at UTAS prepared him for the studies ahead. ‘I’m a Chinese speaker, and before I got to UTAS my English was very poor’, he says. ‘But during my undergraduate degree I developed my writing skills, critical thinking skills and learned how to analyse ideas – so I was able to apply these at the Honours level.’

The small class sizes and friendly lecturers at UTAS helped the Chinese-speaker with his transition into studying in a foreign language. ‘The advantage that UTAS has got is that it has small class sizes’, says Alexander. ‘Each tutorial was about ten to fifteen people, so you know everyone and it’s much better for international students. UTAS is also very concerned about international student voices, and they take our concerns seriously.’

Beyond studying, Alexander threw himself into local Hobart life, using his skills as an amateur magician to make new friends. ‘My uncle inspired me to learn magic tricks when I was nine years old, and I’ve been doing it ever since!’, he says. ‘I used to perform back in Malaysia in parks and supermarkets.’

One of his favourite memories of studying the Foundation Program was starring in his own magic show at the annual Talent Quest. He’s even used his magic to impress customers at the local Italian restaurant where he works. ‘As a waiter, it was a great experience and I got to meet a lot of other UTAS students that worked there too! I loved performing magic tricks for customers!’

After more than four years of study in Tasmania, Alexander truly feels like a local, and there isn’t much about the state that he doesn’t enjoy. ‘UTAS is definitely a great place to study philosophy!’, he gushes. ‘As a philosophy student, you need to have a natural environment and great resources; the library is close by, and there is always a great place to take a long walk – the beach is close to my home. I walk to get inspiration and to analyse problems – it’s relaxing and enjoyable and there are few distractions.’

The pristine environment that draws so many tourists to Tasmania is not lost on Alexander. ‘Russell Falls is extraordinary, I like bushwalking so that was one thing that I enjoyed very much and did with friends’, he says. ‘A lot of my friends studied zoology, so I used to follow them to catch butterflies – it’s quite an amazing experience. In Melbourne or Sydney this kind of experience just wouldn’t be as close to the city.’

And there’s just one more thing Alexander loves about studying on the UTAS campus: ‘You have bush and everything around the campus – so you manage to see all of these weird things, like wallabies and wombats at night! It’s quite cool.’

When asked about his future, Alexander says that he is keen to continue his studies at a post-doctoral level, and hopes to stay in Tasmania in the future.

If you’re interested in taking Philosophy, explore your options through a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Science at the University of Tasmania. Or discover our other exciting courses on offer in this incredible location listed in Lonely Planet’s Top Ten Must Visit Destinations!