Coming to Australia to study is a life aspiration for many students. Many of them are initially attracted to one of the better known cities like Melbourne or Sydney. Such was the case for pharmacy student, Monila Nadikudi from Hyderabad, India.

‘After I got my bachelors degree in India I initially went to study in Melbourne, but I found it way too big. I really felt lost,’ explains the Hyderabad native.

Going home or staying put and continuing to have a bad experience wasn’t ever a consideration for this determined woman, and so Monila made the decision to find the place that would provide her with both a great education and a genuine welcome.

‘A few of my professors in India had already suggested the University of Tasmania (UTAS) for its academic excellence, so I went back and read through the uni’s website. The subjects offered were the closest to my area of interest. I also read up about the state – it looked great. So I applied.’ says Monila.

Monila moved to Tassie to start her Master of Pharmaceutical Science in 2013 and never looked back. With the support from staff in the Pharmacy division of the Faculty of Health, Monila is now doing her PhD in the same field, as part of a drug discovery group.

‘The positive experience I had in undertaking research during my Masters encouraged me to pursue further studies in pharmaceutical research. It’s the personalised approach and easy lifestyle that sets Tasmania apart from the rest,’ she explains.

‘Our course coordinator calls every student personally and asks how we’re going and we just don’t get that anywhere else.’

During her time at the University of Tasmania, Monila has taken advantage of the wide range of activities open to students which she’s found really fun and beneficial.

‘I have had a casual job as an international student engagement leader for one and a half years now. It’s great! I talk to students at orientation, share my experiences and resources, and give them someone to talk to.’

‘It’s been so much fun – I’d really recommend it. It’s helped me come out of my shell. Previously I was in a bit of a cocoon doing my own thing, but meeting new people and the opportunities that the program has provided me with has been extremely valuable.’

With students from around Australia and more than 100 countries, there’s lots of socialising to be had on-campus for anyone who wants to take part and like all students, when she’s not studying, Monila has taken the opportunity to get involved.

‘I would encourage everyone to join clubs and societies. They’re really vibrant at the University of Tasmania and you’ll meet lots of interesting people.’

And it’s not just on-campus things that Monila has found so enjoyable here in Tasmania. The most southern state in Australia, Tasmania is surrounded by water and has its own unique flora and quirky fauna.

‘I’m a true nature lover so the best thing about Tasmania is the nature. I love to go to the beach and look at the waves. It really relaxes your mind,’ Monila says of her favourite things to do in this pristine state.

‘The advice I would give to future international students is to start in Tasmania, because many people only think of Sydney, Melbourne and big places like that and you get lost. So start here first and then you’ll know which place is best,’ Monila recommends.

If you too have a passion for pharmacy and are interested in living in a beautiful state with a supportive community, apply now to start in 2017 or accept your offer and join us at the University of Tasmania.