When Aiman Rasheed won an Australia Awards Scholarship, Tasmania was his first choice to pursue his bachelor degree, passion for wilderness photography and love of marathon running.

As the only student from the Maldives to win the prestigious scholarship offered by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Aiman decided to enrol in a Bachelor of Social Science at the University of Tasmania (UTAS).

‘I chose Tasmania because it is both natural and metropolitan at the same time. As a part time photographer and someone who loves running marathons it was the perfect fit for me’, he said.

Aiman found Tasmania’s natural beauty to be one of the many great things about studying at UTAS. ‘As a part-time photographer, you can see why I love Tasmania. One of my favourite places is Mount Wellington. It’s only fifteen minutes from Hobart and has great walking tracks. I also love the destinations in the central-north, like Cradle Mountain, as it’s so beautiful and green’, he says.

As he toured around the island state, Aiman photographed some of Tasmania’s most breathtaking experiences – like the Aurora Australis or “Southern Lights”. ‘I found that people are so friendly here, sometimes I will travel to photograph a farm, and the people are so happy to tell you their story’, he says.

It wasn’t just Tasmania’s natural beauty that impressed the second year student. He began to notice some distinct advantages from studying as the University of Tasmania. ‘The lecturers are really good’, he says. ‘They’re open to helping students, they’re approachable and reachable – that is one of the things that I wasn’t expecting. Everyone has been incredibly helpful. The small class sizes mean that you always have an opportunity to speak up, and if you ever need additional help – your tutor or lecturer is always there for you.’

Aiman also benefited from attending Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), a UTAS program that enables students to work together in a relaxed and friendly environment to strengthen their study skills and knowledge of a unit. ‘In my first year I went to a couple of PASS sessions and they were super helpful. I also went to prepare and revise for exams which really helped.’

Aiman has been thriving at UTAS, having recently been awarded the prestigious Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Award for achieving excellence across government units.

When he graduates from UTAS, Aiman plans to use his majors in Psychology, and Politics and Policy, and minor in Economics to return to his position at an international non-governmental organisation in the Maldives. ‘I think studying at UTAS will help me contribute to the research that the organisation is doing’, he says, ‘I chose to study at UTAS mainly for the flexibility of its Bachelor of Social Science. My studies have already really helped me develop my writing skills.’

His final impressions of his time studying in Tasmania? ‘I’m quite happy here! It’s laid back, there is a lot of nature, the people are friendly – it’s a mix of all of those wonderful things.’

Enquire now about a Bachelor of Social Science or explore other world-class UTAS degrees here.

To see some of Aiman’s stunning photography capturing his time in Tasmania, click here.

Note that the link above will take you to Aiman Rasheed’s personal Instagram account. The views and content expressed are his own and do not reflect the views of the University of Tasmania.