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Natalie Rowe: In pursuit of research to improve healthcare systems

Natalie with her Murdoch University friends

After hearing from older family members about their experiences at Murdoch University, Natalie knew it was the place for her.

Self-described as “adaptable, disciplined, and kooky”, Murdoch University student Natalie is all about keeping herself busy by taking up every opportunity she is given.

“I’m constantly keeping myself busy with either my casual jobs, self-improvement activities (reading, climbing or running) and of course, studying. I love putting myself out there and taking on taxing roles just to test my capabilities and also build on my skills.

“I believe that some opportunities come once in a lifetime, so I try to never pass up on one that I presume could positively enhance my life.”

And after hearing from some of the people closest to her about their experiences at Murdoch, Natalie decided to pursue the opportunity of gaining an international education in Australia.

Following in the footsteps of friends and family to study at Murdoch

After graduating secondary school in Singapore at 16, Natalie made the choice with her parents to pursue a university degree at Murdoch in Perth.

“I grew up hearing wonderful testimonials from the friends of my older sister about Murdoch. My parents heard all about it too…Murdoch has been strongly suggested by most of the people I looked up to during my adolescence.

“As time progressed, a couple of my good friends moved to Perth and pursued degrees at Murdoch which gave me all the more reason to join them here.”

Since beginning her degree at Murdoch, Natalie is now one of those people recommending Murdoch to others.

“I love talking about my incredible experience at Murdoch with friends and family back home and also with my co-workers during shifts.

“I feel a massive sense of belonging here. Everyone, the academics and students, are so approachable and always willing to lend a helping hand if you ever need it. Lectures and classes are scheduled nicely and orderly…I really have nothing to complain about.”

A passion for studying science and problem solving

Natalie’s choice of degree was guided by her strengths, choosing to study a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Biomedical Science and Biological Sciences.

“During my last few years of secondary school, I had no doubt in my mind that I was going to pursue a degree in science. I only narrowed down my options whilst I was completing my foundation year at Murdoch Institute of Technology where I developed a strong interest in the general physiology of the human body and other animals.”

Experiencing hands-on learning to reach new heights

When asked about her study experiences so far, Natalie says the practical experience that a Murdoch degree offers is the highlight.

“I truly enjoy the hands-on practicals more than anything. I believe that these classes are the best way to develop a strong understanding of a skill/topic. Most of the things that I’ve learnt in my lab classes manage to retain in my long-term memory.”

Practical work has also given Natalie the chance to engage with other students in her course and make the most of time in class with lecturers and tutors.

“I always have the best time working in groups and also manage to have any doubts or questions answered in that personalised time with my demonstrators.”

At the end of Natalie’s first year of study at Murdoch, her dedication and hard work paid off when she was rewarded a scholarship for academic excellence.

“I received the Murdoch University Academic Excellence Award International Scholarship. It has definitely helped me financially.”

Murdoch awards a wide range of scholarships for international students, including the Scholarship for Scientific Excellence.

Embracing Perth and the Murdoch community

Outside the classroom, Natalie says spending time on beautiful Bush Court in the middle of campus is her go-to stress reliever when studying.

“Hanging out with my mates on the bean bags on bush court during summer. Enjoying a satisfying cold beer at the Tavern after submitting a stressful assignment. Those are the best moments!”

The welcoming nature of the Perth and Murdoch community is something Natalie says helped her make friends and settle in away from home and grow to love living in a new city.  

“There is such a strong sense of community in Perth, which I really appreciate. I love the semi laid-back pace, and the work-life balance that is emphasised here. During my morning commute, for example, small actions such as passengers thanking the bus drivers do put a smile on my face.

“I love socialising and am blessed with a great bunch of friends that I have made over the past few years living in Perth…Murdoch and its incredible student Guild always organise interesting and relevant events that eases the process of making new friends.

“Having a strong peer support is essential to an enjoyable university life and Murdoch has made an otherwise daunting experience, an enjoyable and eventful one."

When Natalie’s not on campus at Murdoch, the thing she says is most memorable about Perth is the stunning natural coastline of Western Australia – a must see for all international students.  

“Also, the beaches…. How breathtakingly stunning are they?! Free of trash, clear blue waters and skies. I still cannot get over how gorgeous they are. They are incomparable to the beaches we have back in Singapore.”

Aspiring to change healthcare systems with a career in research

When finished her undergraduate degree, Natalie has her sights firmly set on a career that will have an impact: medical research. Something that will be made possible by Murdoch’s research strengths and connections in health, including the Health Futures Institute

“Thanks to Murdoch’s strong links to Perth’s medical research establishments, I will be presented with high research opportunities both on and off campus that will assist my goals.”

When summarising her experience so far at Murdoch, Natalie says “Murdoch has truly exceeded all expectations I had before coming here. The units are structured in such an organised manner that aids in the learning and understanding of the topic.”

“My lecturers have all been awfully inspiring. I’m always in awe of how well-versed they are and how they are so willing to go above and beyond.”

Explore our courses and experience an undergraduate degree with lecturers who go above and beyond.

Posted on:

2 Jul 2020

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