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Alan Thomas Joshy (Maldives)

Alan Thomas Joshy is a recipient of the JCU Vice Chancellor’s International Student Scholarship. These prestigious Scholarships recognise students who have achieved academic and personal excellence and demonstrate a commitment to JCU’s values.

“I was really excited to learn I had received a Vice-Chancellor International Scholarship. I knew it would be such a big help for me and my family. To be able to receive this Scholarship was such a blessing and I am very happy to be studying at JCU.”

Why did you choose to study at JCU?

“I was born in India but spent most of my childhood growing up in the Maldives. I have lived near the water all my life and my father worked for a company that owned five resorts. He would get complimentary visits so I went on a lot of snorkelling and diving trips. We are surrounded by marine life, so it is not hard to fall in love with the ocean in the Maldives.

Also, the Maldivian community and greater economy are very dependent on the waterways, mainly for tourism, and fishing. From a young age, children are taught about the ocean and to respect our natural environment, so this is where my interest in marine biology comes from.

When I was at high school in the Maldives, there was an education fair to showcase higher education options to prepare us for the future. Representatives from JCU presented at the event and ever since attending this seminar, I have always wanted to come and study at one of the best universities in the world for marine biology. I completed an undergraduate degree, majoring in Chemistry, Botany and Zoology in India at Christ University in Bangalore and then applied to study a Master of Marine Biology at JCU to further my academic studies.”

International Student Alan Joshy Thomas  with JCU's Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs.

What has been a highlight of your time at JCU so far?

“Visiting the JCU Orpheus Island Research Island was an unbelievable experience. We spent two whole days in the ocean, collecting important data and learning about the Great Barrier Reef. It’s tiring work, but it is also very fulfilling because you collect all this data and then you get to analyse the numbers, so you get to see the fruits of your labour. It was such a rewarding experience, and all the staff and colleagues were helpful too. I already feel very welcomed by the JCU community.”

What are your career aspirations?

“In the second year of the Master’s we have to select between a professional or research project. My plan is to pursue a professional degree and then try to find a placement somewhere. I would love to go back to the Maldives and work with some organisations, such as the Maldives Whale Shark Research Program, who are focused on conservation. I am also interested in undertaking a PhD, but I want to take a break from studying and work first, so I will see where life takes me.”

What is your advice for prospective international students?

“Just go with the flow. You are going to learn a lot of new things. Everyone is friendly and the staff at JCU are very helpful if you get stuck and need some guidance. Enjoy every moment of your studies.”