After Yuxuan (Sara) Li finished studying her Bachelor of Information Systems in China she knew that she really wanted to do something different. ‘I am passionate about the environment so I decided that, for my Masters, I wanted to focus on that instead.’

‘I knew it would be a big change, but it was something I really wanted to do. I believe that, if you like your course and you are interested in it; you will do your best and overcome any language barrier that may exist.’

Shanghai Ocean University (SOU) has a partnership agreement with the University of Tasmania (UTAS), which made her transition to Hobart easy. UTAS staff member Dr Lorne Kriwoken was a visiting lecturer at SOU and had a great influence on her decision to do her masters in Tasmania. ‘I knew that the school of environmental studies at UTAS was strong and that the environment of Tasmania would be ideal for research.’

Sara commenced studies in a Master of Applied Science (Environmental Management and Spatial Sciences). Her masters’ research project was on Marine Protected Areas (MPA). ‘I am looking at the recreational use of MPAs, especially in Tasmania. I will also do my thesis on this area, which will include surveys and interviews with people to find out more about how they make use of MPAs, as well as recommending some good measures to better manage the areas.’

There are plenty of on-campus activities for students to choose from at UTAS. There are clubs and societies for most nationalities but Sara decided that, to truly submerse herself in the UTAS experience, she would rather join groups that were primarily made up of local students. ‘After I joined Australian Youth Climate Coalition I attended a summit of 2000 young people in Melbourne, which was aimed at trying to make youth more aware of the importance of climate change. I have also spent time with Conservation Volunteers Australia in Hobart.’

‘I’m so glad I chose to come here. Shanghai, is such a big city, but I have discovered that I am much more of a small city girl. Tasmania is such an amazing place, filled with beautiful natural sceneries wherever you go.‘

‘I have already started recommending UTAS to other international students. Six of my former classmates from SOU are now over here doing majors in environmental management.’

‘If I could give others a piece of advice it would be to enjoy your life here. Make the most of the beautiful scenery, fresh air and blue sky. UTAS really is a good place to study!’

If you have a passion for the environment read more about the Master of Applied Science (Environmental Management and Spatial Sciences).