When Vijayandra Rughoonundun first arrived in Australia from Mauritius a year ago, even the daily commute was a learning experience.
“The travelling system is completely different and much better than in African countries. Here you have the metro, bus and trams.
At the beginning it was very hard for me to adapt. It also took me a while to get used to so many different students from different countries.”
The 26-year-old chose to study Melbourne Polytechnic’s Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering because of its recognised high standard and reputation within the industry. “I was about to go either to UK or Australia. Friends and relatives told me about Australia and said it was cheaper and much better compared to elsewhere. I’m quite happy with Melbourne Polytechnic. They have not sent me to the wrong place.”
Vijayandra says he has been studying engineering since he was quite young, but the teaching standard and more advanced technology in Australia will give him an edge in the job market back home. “The biggest advantage I’m getting is the quality of the teaching.” At Melbourne Polytechnic each student has his own toolkit to use in the lab, Vijayandra says, whereas at home there might have been only two or three. “When I go back to my country I’m going to use all the things that I’ve learned to get a better job. I would have been able to get the same qualification at home, but the technology would not be the same. That’s why I prefer it here. In the electrical field if you don’t have enough practical experience you’re not going to improve.”
While he misses his large family back in Mauritius, Vijayandra has kept busy with a part-time job at St Kilda’s popular Esplanade Hotel where he cleans and collects glasses. “It’s quite fun. I enjoy working there and sometimes there is a good band from Africa or America playing there.” Vijayandra is keeping his options open when he finishes his course later this year. “I want to become an electrical engineer. I might try and push further to do the bachelor degree, because we can matriculate to Latrobe.”
Course: Diploma of Electronics and Communications Engineering