UQ Iraqi students Faisal Al-Fadhli (left) and Yussra Jabbar Sankoor Al-Humrany. Image - Ho Vu
UQ Iraqi students Faisal Al-Fadhli (left) and Yussra Jabbar Sankoor Al-Humrany. Image - Ho Vu
25 March 2011

Providing support services for a group of postgraduate students from Iraq was the focus of a meet and greet at the Gatton campus last week.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International) Dr Anna Ciccarelli and Director of UQ International Andrew Everett visited the campus to meet the students and advise them on the many services available to them.

One of the greatest issues Iraqi students face is the different teaching and learning styles between the two countries.

Faisal Al Fadhli, a Masters in Animal Studies student who arrived in Australia as part of an AusAID program, said the adjustment period could be overwhelming at times.

“You can feel very isolated if you don’t make friends, so I found living on campus a great way to meet other students. Being in a share house, you learn about other students cultures and it is a good way to make new friends,” Mr Al Fadhli said.

UQ offers workshops throughout the year to assist international students with a smooth transition to studying at UQ and living in Australia. Last week’s seminar was designed to assist with aspects of their wellbeing, learning outcomes and career and life goals.

Since leaving Baghdad, where Mr Al Fadhli was a research assistant at the State Board for agricultural research, he has found it difficult to be away from his family.

“The support available at UQ is very valuable and these types of workshops and seminars help us with adjusting to study and life in Australia. Living so far away from my family is very hard but I try to communicate with them and stay in touch as often as I can,” he said.

“It is my dream to study a PhD at UQ, and I would be very happy if there was an opportunity to do so in the future.”

Mr Al Fadhli said after completing his masters degree he was looking forward to applying the skills and knowledge to help develop Iraq’s agricultural sector.

Thirteen Iraqi students are currently completing Master of Animal Studies and Master of Agriculture studies at UQ and are due to graduate next year.

Media: Karli Kollegger (07 5460 1279, k.kollegger@uq.edu.au)