Srikaveri Sriram (Botswana)

From Botswana to Townsville - a JCU medical student's story

Since Srikaveri Sriram was five years old, she dreamed of studying medicine and becoming a doctor.

Growing up in Botswana, Srikaveri spent her teenage years volunteering in medical clinics where she got to see the positive impact of providing quality medical services to underprivileged people, especially those in rural and regional areas.

When it came time to decide where to apply for university, Srikaveri chose the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery program at James Cook University (JCU).

“The two main things that drew me to JCU was the real focus on rural medicine and the first-hand experience on placements.

“A lot of medicine courses I looked at didn’t offer rural placements, which is something I really wanted to experience.

“Of course, there will be differences between rural medicine in Australia and Botswana, but there are also a lot of similarities.

“I also didn’t want to live in the big smoke, I’m not really a huge fan of long travel times and crowded spaces. Townsville is beautiful, and the Great Barrier Reef is right next door.”

Srikaveri Sriram.

Since arriving in Townsville in February 2020, Srikaveri has had the opportunity to complete several placements, including a one-month stint at a General Practice clinic in Tin Can Bay in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland.

Srikaveri said one of the best aspects of studying at JCU was the opportunity to connect with likeminded people.

“Through studying and living on campus, I’ve had the chance to make a lot of great friends,” she said.

“There are a lot of international students, and you get to mix with different cultures and personalities which gives you a worldwide perspective.

“I didn’t know what health care was like in other places across the world, like Canada because I’ve never been there, but you meet so many people which allows you to develop a holistic view.

“JCU provides an exceptional educational experience, with plenty of placement opportunities and interactions with all walks of life.”

Now in her third year of the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Srikaveri looks forward to continuing her studies as she prepares herself with the skills and knowledge for a career in the medical industry.