Isabel standing in kitchen

I moved to Perth to study forensic biology

Isabel Ong, 22, Forensic Biology and Toxicology + Criminology

A little about me

I was born and raised on the sunny island of Singapore. I’m a third-year international student studying Forensic Biology and Toxicology and Criminology, with a focus on White Collar and Corporate Crime.

Unfortunately, forensic science isn’t offered at any university in Singapore at an undergraduate level, so I looked into studying overseas. I applied with an education agency in Singapore, and one of the agents recommended Murdoch University for forensic science.

I like that I’m studying something I’m passionate about. The topics and case studies are always really interesting, too. One of my favourite things about Murdoch is the lecturers and tutors who go above and beyond to help students, be it academically or with internships. In particular, Dr Mark Briskey, Dr Garth Maker and Jay Donovan have been so helpful.

How I knew what I wanted to study

I discovered a love for murder mysteries when I came across Agatha Christie’s books. And Then There Were None and The Murder of Roger Ackroyd were two of my favourites. I was enthralled with the way Poirot could take a seemingly unsolvable case and unravel it. That ignited my interest in crime: criminals’ motivations, their methods, and what led to them getting caught. 

My first days in Perth

I lived in the student village when I first arrived, and there were many social events planned for us, from DIY events to weekly dinners. There was also a welcome dinner for new students. That, coupled with the uni’s orientation events, helped me make my first friends here.

I find people are friendly and approachable. I also love the weather and sunsets in Perth!

I’m in love with Agatha Christie’s books. They made me realise my passion for crime – why people do it, how they do it, and how it can be prevented.

Campus life

I love the campus – it’s beautiful! I also like how Murdoch makes an effort to help students relieve stress by planning events like Stamp Out Stress Day, and MarketDaze, to help us take time off studying and to relax.

When I’m on campus, I usually hang out at Bush Court or in the Student Hub. I also love checking out the different food trucks at the Pop-Up Ref, and walking around with my friends.

Why I chose Murdoch and Perth

I chose Perth because it’s only a five-hour flight from Singapore, which makes travelling back and forth easy. I chose Murdoch because it’s the only university in Western Australia with courses in both criminology and forensic biology.

I had friends who graduated from Murdoch. They had a good experience, so that sealed the deal for me.