Student Spotlight: Meet Deakin University PhD candidate Mina from Iran

A local in Melbourne for two years, Mina travelled from Iran to do her PhD at Deakin University after being awarded an International Postgraduate Research Scholarship. We spoke to Mina about her studies, favourite places and tips for getting ready for a life in Melbourne, Victoria.

Tell us about your studies

I’m doing a PhD at School of Information and Business Analytics at Deakin University. My research is about the role of social media in crisis communications from organisational perspective.

Why Melbourne?

Well, one of the important things for me was getting scholarship for my research. I could get scholarship from a couple of universities in Perth and Melbourne. I chose Melbourne since it’s one of the major cities in Australia and comparing to Perth it’s a larger city and consequently with more opportunities. Also, the ranking of the university that I got scholarship from in Melbourne was better than the one in Perth.

What are your favourite things to do in Melbourne?

Melbourne is a beautiful, peaceful and multicultural city. People are very nice and friendly. I like hanging out with friends, meeting new people, having coffee in Melbourne’s cafes, doing sightseeing in and around Melbourne. Melbourne has a beautiful nature. There are lots of lovely gardens in Melbourne.

What are you planning to do after you finish studying?

Well, I’ll look for a job here. If I can find any in Melbourne it would be great however I will consider other cities as well. It’s all about having priorities.

What should other students know about Melbourne?

I have a few tips! I think students should know that Melbourne is an expensive city so be ready for it. For instance, as a PhD international student I can’t use concession card or discounted passes for public transport.

Sometimes, environmental conditions might be different from what you are used to in your own country. For example, Melbourne has freezing winters and hot summers. Houses might be so different from what you have in your own country. In my country we have freezing winters and hot summers but generally houses are insulated so you don’t have to turn the heater or air conditioner on all the time. While here, me and my friends’ experience shows that in some cases houses are not insulated so it is always cold or hot inside the house.

If you are coming here with your family, you partner might have a hard time to find a job. While finding a job is difficult for any new comers, having a student visa is considered as a drawback in finding a permanent job.

Try to learn more about Melbournian culture before coming here. I’m not sure how you can do this but it was great if there were some opportunities for international students to learn about Australian and specifically Melbournian culture as soon as they come here.