Apply now

Isuru Wijesundara (Sri Lanka)

Isuru Wijesundara 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 so excited when I learned that I received the Scholarship, and I called my parents immediately to tell them the great news. It was one of the most memorable achievements of my academic career. I knew getting a scholarship would be a life-changing opportunity and I am so grateful to be studying my dream course at JCU.”

Why did you choose to study at JCU?

“My love for the ocean and curiosity about the enormous world beneath the waters influenced me to pursue a career in researching marine science. I graduated from Ocean University in Sri Lanka with a Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Marine Sciences. After I graduated, I started working for several non-government organisations and I worked for a university researching coastal ecology. I gained valuable experiences in research and academic writing, and I knew from working in this role, I wanted to pursue my higher studies.

I started researching different degrees in Australia, the USA and Europe and discovered JCU offered a Master of Marine Biology. JCU is known as one of the world’s leading universities for education and research in marine science, so I applied and was very pleased to be accepted into the program.”

International student Isuru Wijesundara with JCU's Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs.

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

“As part of our first subject in the Master of Marine Biology, we visited the JCU Orpheus Island Research Centre. It has always been a lifelong dream of mine to visit the Great Barrier Reef, so it was a surreal experience. It was amazing to be immersed in the field and conduct research on the Great Barrier Reef. We also got to snorkel and dive on the reef as well as spend some time with the researchers, teaching staff and other students in the course. This has been my most memorable moment so far, but I know there will be many more incredible moments throughout my degree.”

What are your career aspirations?

“I want to focus on getting the best results in my master’s. Once I finish this degree, I hope to stay in Australia for a few years and gain a professional placement. Another one of my lifelong goals is to undertake a PhD, so hopefully, once I finish my Masters, I will be able to follow this pathway.”

What is your advice for prospective international students?

“JCU is such a great place to study and to be able to immerse yourself in your studies. It’s a friendly environment and everyone is super helpful. I would tell future students to apply for your course and take the risk as you won’t regret it and will have so many life-changing moments.”