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Engineering Technology student Themiya finds support a long way from home

Portrait of Themiya in tie-dye t-shirt and black shirt standing in front of a brick wall
Engineering Technology (Civil) student Themiya

Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Civil) student Themiya from Sri Lanka found that the support and guidance from his teachers at Melbourne Polytechnic a huge factor in his study success.

How did you come to find Melbourne Polytechnic? 

I researched the universities available in Melbourne, and I discussed my findings with my family and friends. Melbourne Polytechnic fulfilled all my requirements, and I felt the course provided value for money. The course structure consists of both theory and practical. Students are required to complete Work Integrated Learning as part of their course, which provides industry experience. Furthermore, an optional professional internship programme is offered to international students without any additional cost. As Melbourne Polytechnic has full accreditation with Engineers Australia, once we complete our degree we can apply for membership under the Engineering Technologist category. Therefore, I felt that Melbourne Polytechnic was the best choice for me.

Student life

I joined Melbourne Polytechnic last year, and within two weeks of the course, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. Though we were in lockdown the course continued online. Our lecturers were very supportive and they provided us with the necessary support and guidance. At Melbourne Polytechnic we meet many people from different countries. SLAM organizes activities and events that bring all of us together where we are able to make friends. Melbourne is an interesting city, with good food and many sites to see. There is a large Sri Lankan population as well, so we are able to get involved in cultural activities far away from home.

Most memorable experience

During my first semester, we studied Professional Engineering as a subject. Our final assignment was a team project where we had to design and build a structure in Queensland for tourists. Our team was selected from Melbourne Polytechnic, and we won the Engineers Without Borders Australia 'People's Choice Award 2020' for our project titled "Innovative and Sustainable Shelter for Tourists". The project aimed to support the local traditional owners of the land and attract tourists to see the beauty of Australia, especially the Cape York region of Far North Queensland. This experience changed my life.

Next steps

I’m in my second year of the degree programme. Once I complete my Bachelor’s degree I hope to pursue my higher education and also start working to gain experience. With a degree from Melbourne Polytechnic, I have an advantage when seeking employment as we are provided with industrial knowledge and industry contacts. However, in the long term, I am hoping to return to Sri Lanka as my father wishes me to join the family construction business.

Opening new doors

Studying at Melbourne Polytechnic equips students with the knowledge and skills to face their future and determine their career path. As students, we see new doors opening for us in the Engineering field. Through the various projects that we do at Melbourne Polytechnic, we learn about the industry standards from the experts themselves.