IT student Aye Phyu Thant has built a new life at ACU

“I feel like I’ve adapted really well”: IT student Aye Phyu Thant has built a new life at ACU

You started your ACU studies in the Diploma of Information Technology. How did the diploma program prepare you for success at ACU?

When I first applied to ACU, I didn’t meet the entry requirements of undergraduate study. They offered me the diploma program, which is the same as completing the first year of study in a bachelor’s degree but with extra support. After you complete the diploma, you go straight into the second year of the undergraduate degree. The thing that I liked best is the close supervision. Most of the classes are in small groups, so lecturers and tutors know you and you know your teachers. That means you can get more support to prepare for your transition into your new course.

The Bachelor of IT has an excellent reputation for technology-enabled learning that prepares students to solve real-world problems. What do you enjoy about the course?

Most of my exams and assignments are based on the skills that we need to use in the work industry. I like programming subjects — I’ve learned Java and Python and I like the sense of joy I feel when I figure out how to solve a coding error. It’s not important to memorise all the things you study. Instead, it’s important that you learn how to apply them. You have to start with small steps to understand how to solve bigger problems.

Moving to Australia to study is a big decision, but ACU is there to support international students at every step. How has ACU supported you?

There are lots of things. Before you arrive, they send you a welcome email with information about what to prepare — what things you have to pack, how to prepare for culture shock. When I arrived in Sydney, I rented a room at the ACU student accommodation and they sent me lots of information about that too. I have frequent contact with the international student advisers and I often spoke to my course coordinator of the diploma whenever I need some academic help. There are also student workshops that will help you with your academic skills, like writing.

You’ve made new friends and built a community around you. How did you do it?

I’ve attended some events at uni and I attended almost every event delivered at the student accommodation when I lived there — they had social events and sometimes free food. ACU makes me feel at home and supported. You study with small groups of people and the environment is very warm and friendly. In IT, there are fewer international students than domestic students, but that doesn’t matter. I have two or three close friends who are domestic students. I feel comfortable in Australia now. I feel like I’ve adapted really well.

What are you plans after you finish your bachelor’s degree?

I think I need to gain some industrial experience. I’m planning on applying for a postgraduate work visa. I’ll try to get the best out of those years and then think about doing the master’s degree.

There’s more than one way to get into the highly acclaimed ACU Bachelor of IT. If you don’t meet the requirements for direct entry, contact our international student support team to find out more about the Diploma of IT. When you complete this year-long university preparation course, you’ll be fast-tracked into the second year of the bachelor’s degree.

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