Hi there! My full name is Carolina Galiforni Silva, but everyone here calls me ‘Carol’. You can say it with the Brazilian accent or the Australian accent, whatever works best! I was born in Suzano, but before coming to Australia I was living in Curitiba, a city in the south of Brazil which I consider to be my second home. I am enrolled in a Master of Business Administration at Kaplan Business School.
Why did you choose to study in Perth?
The permission to work part-time as an international student was a huge factor when choosing Australia as my destination – not only for the financial support it would give me, but also for the practical experience you are able to get while studying. Choosing a city was a little bit harder. Luckily, Perth has a little bit of everything: beaches, parks, amazing places to visit nearby in WA, museums, restaurants, big companies, quality educational institutions, job opportunities and so forth. While it is not very big, it is not that small either! I felt like here I would run away from the big city rush without getting bored, and that was exactly what happened.
What do you love most of living in Perth?
The lifestyle here is really laidback, so I feel I can dedicate time to my studies, have a part-time job, volunteer, and still manage to go out for a walk close to the ocean all in the same week. I am able to have a more balanced routine, and that is my favourite thing about Perth.
What do you love about your studies and Institution?
I had the opportunity to study in three different institutions here in Perth, and I was really satisfied with the results I got from all of them. I arrived as an English student at Lexis. I really recommend their CAE preparation exam course. Like many other Brazilian students, getting more confident with my language skills was an essential step for me.
Then I went for a Certificate III in Events at TAFE, and I was impressed with the practical activities you could perform in a vocational course. At the end of the semester, we managed to organise our own music gig, so it really is a strong hands-on environment.
However, as I already have a degree from my home country, the possibility to go for an MBA was an amazing opportunity for me. I could do this because I was granted a partial scholarship from Kaplan Business School, and their tuition fees were affordable compared to other institutions. As it is a smaller college, you feel really welcomed from day one.
The lecturers and staff are extremely approachable, you have opportunities to talk about your study and career plans and explore different areas. While the classes are small, you have a lot of flexibility with the units you choose and discussions about real-world issues – so you can easily relate what you learn to your professional life. It's perfect for me, as I was not looking for a theory-based focus. Also, almost all the students are international with a very broad range of nationalities, so you get to interact with different cultures and perspectives in each class.
What would you like to do after you finish studying in Perth?
I am now exploring different career paths, and working part-time in the international education industry. I am in love with the area, and I wish to contribute to a more inclusive international education sector, where students from different backgrounds can access this same experience. The location is still uncertain: back in my home country, in Australia, or perhaps another place… The experience you get when you step out of your comfort zone opens your mind to a lot of opportunities, so for now I am just leaving all the doors open!
What is one piece of advice you’d give to international students?
Research, risk and enjoy. There is always a way: ask questions, use the internet, make new connections, try different things and have fun during the process. It will be hard and it will challenge you, but you will be surprised at what you can achieve if you give it a chance.