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A life-changing experience

"I’ve become part of a family of brilliant scholars and a diverse group of students".

International student Shaluki Jayasinghe – who’s in the third year of an undergraduate law degree at Deakin – has no regrets about taking the step to ‘launch my life to the next stage’. In fact she says it’s never been easier.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Shaluki says she chose to enrol at Deakin – and make the significant move to Australia – after searching online search to compare a range of universities and degrees.

‘In the end Deakin was the best choice … it’s an excellent environment for an international student like me and the course program is exactly what I wanted to do.’

For as long as she can remember, Shaluki has always wanted a career in law – a profession that she says matches her interests and ambitions.

‘Although it sounds cliché, I see it as a brilliant choice if you are really fighting for something that you believe in,’ she explains. ‘You can be passionate about human rights, criminal justice or environment but another reason as to why I chose this course is that it would challenge me intellectually.’

While acknowledging that the study load can sometimes be demanding, Shaluki says that structure of Deakin’s Bachelor of Law course ensures she still maintains a good study/life balance.

‘Classes and tutorials are flexible which gives me extra time for me to participate in activities like sport so there’s time relax as well as focus on the coursework. I’ve also found the teaching staff very friendly and enthusiastic way of teaching which has really helped.’

On a recent summer semester break back in her home country, Shaluki had the opportunity to ‘shadow’ a Sri Lankan barrister who gave her valuable insight into the everyday workload of a legal professional.

‘I found the theoretical work I’ve been doing in my course was a great help when practising in the field. The communication methods taught by the Deakin lecturers and the diverse interaction was a big advantage to understanding the work done by the barrister,’ she says.

The experience also galvanized her future career ambition to work for a large law firm.

‘I love creating arguments and I like the idea of being able to provide advice and service to a range of clients. While I don’t have specific role in my head for the next few years, I want is to continue learning new things and making a progress at the right pace in my career.’

As international student, Shaluki says each day brings new challenges and experiences and any doubts she initially had about ‘fitting in’ to Australia – and Deakin University life – quickly dissipated.

‘There is so much to do – sport activities, clubs, societies, meeting new people from different cultures – and the opportunity to make some amazing friends. It’s been a huge boost to my self-esteem. I’m proud to share my culture while also adopting the Australian way of life, which has been nothing but life-changing. The university offers a very warm and welcoming environment for any international student who wants to join the Deakin family.’

She adds that the opportunity to study alongside peers from many backgrounds and cultures has also enriched her study experience and broadened her skills and perspective. 

‘My fellow international students have given me cultural education, language and the chance to work together in a diverse social environment. I believe this is a unique experience that will really help me step up my career to an international level.’

Shaluki believes that she’s currently enjoying the ‘most interesting’ days of her life. And while keeping up with lectures, tutorials and assessments keeps delivers a busy lifestyle, she has no regrets about the decision to take her studies abroad.

‘By studying law at Deakin, I’ve become part of a family of brilliant scholars and a diverse group of students who inspire my career goals. I’m now becoming an independent individual, equipped with skills necessary to be positive and confident to face the world ahead of me.’

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