Harini (L) and Abinaya getting their photo taken in front of the UQ lakes.
Harini (L) and Abinaya getting their photo taken in front of the UQ lakes.
14 June 2018

Two Indian secondary school students have visited The University of Queensland after winning an online video competition organised by The Australian Trade and Investment Commission.

The Film Fly Experience Australia competition challenged Indian students to submit a video offering creative solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems — from cyber security to sustainable agriculture — rewarding their efforts with a study tour of a leading Australian tertiary institution.

This year’s winners, Abinaya Kanaharatnam and Harini Raveendran from Alpha Wisdom Vidyashram Senior Secondary School in Tiruchirappalli, showcased food security in a world of diminishing resources and travelled 9582km to experience university life at UQ.

Abinaya was in awe of the opportunities in Australia for girls to safely pursue tertiary studies.

“UQ is the best place for girls to do their higher studies, because it’s safe for girls to be free and study, which we don’t have in India,” she said.

“The University is very friendly and makes new people feel like they’re home.”

The girls were accompanied by teacher Noel Sophia Benedict, who was also impressed with the experience.

“The whole journey is a dream come true,” Mrs Benedict said.

“The facilities available on campus are really amazing and help students to be comfortable and pursue advanced research.”

During their trip, the students were treated to a variety of tours, lectures and demonstrations at UQ, as well as visits to see local wildlife including koalas.

They also saw sustainable agriculture in action at UQ’s Gatton campus.

UQ’s Director International Marketing, Recruitment and Admissions Alison Jenkins said she was excited to be forming new connections between the two countries.

“Indian students have so much to gain from Australian institutions like UQ — with incredible courses in agricultural and food sciences, mathematics, physics, law, medicine and so many other fields, perfectly suited to Indian students,” she said.

“We currently have more than 500 Indian students attending UQ and we look forward to welcoming many more.”

The students and their teacher are considering returning to study at the University.

“I would love to visit UQ in the future and bring my siblings here so they can learn more about Australia, Brisbane and The University of Queensland,” Ms Kanaharatnam said.

Media: Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.