"I would tell any student to be ambitious and to dream of something out there."
Andrew Keeghan's time at Deakin has been very much on the move.
While being deeply involved in campus life via working with the student union and jumping into various student law competitions (and winning a few!), 23-year-old Andrew has also travelled to three countries as part of his studies.
Now in his fifth year of a six-year arts/law degree, Andrew urges fellow students to tap into the world of opportunities Deakin offers beyond the campus confines.
Most recently, Andrew accompanied a group of other Deakin students and academic staff to China.
The 16-day trip focussed on aspects of Chinese legal practice, including lessons in English, and visits to courtrooms and law firms.
‘It was a great way to mix up the learning experience,’ says Andrew. ‘It is so interesting to see all this…in the flesh.’
Andrew doesn’t deny that the trip wasn't without its challenges.
‘There was a language barrier. I was doing my best to say 'Hello' and ‘Goodbye’ with my phrasebook, and we had to try and work together as a large group of Deakin students.’
The upside was an incredible learning experience and a huge value-add to Andrew's study.
‘When you engage with your peers and enjoy it, you tend to do better as a student.’
The importance of networking and building lasting friendships should not be overlooked as part of your career path, he says.
Before the China trip, Andrew spent time in Indonesia on an arts study tour.
This was a six-week experience involving language and cultural studies with 20 other Deakin students and staff.
Andrew seems comfortable with his grasp of Bahasa as a result of his time in Indonesia and feels he understands one of our most important neighbours much better.
His time in Indonesia also led to him to combine the tour with an internship in Malaysia.
Andrew is currently looking for placements at law firms and is finding the overseas exposure he’s had is proving a real benefit.
‘I feel I can present as globally minded and internationally focussed. Employers can see I have some get up and go, and want to do well.’
Both trips were subsidised by Deakin grants and government loans.
Andrew says the university made access to the tours easy and managed them extremely well.
These trips are the most memorable experiences of my life so far,’ he says, encouraging others to take advantage of study tour opportunities.
‘I would swear by it… If you only engage with “traditional” study, you're getting maybe 90 percent of the experience. The other 10 percent should be a different kind of experience.’
‘I would tell any student to be ambitious and to dream of something out there.
‘In terms of a full academic life take every chance you can.’