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Sara Arias Escudero (Colombia)

Sara Arias Escudero 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.

Why did you choose to study at JCU?

“I have a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from a university in Colombia and I worked in the business industry for about eight years before I slightly switched careers to the educational field. I was working for a company in Colombia that planned outdoor trips for schools. While I was working in the marketing and sales department, I became interested in education.

Next, I moved to Finland and completed a Master of Education from the University of Turku, so this will be my second master’s degree. After completing this degree, I still wanted to continue learning and gain more hands-on experience about the teaching profession.

Initially I was drawn to Townsville as it isn’t a huge city. I got the impression that there was going to be a strong community here, so I applied to study a Master of Teaching and Learning (Secondary). I was also excited by the opportunity to undertake internships in rural and remote communities, which would allow me to get hands-on experience.”

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

“I have experienced a lot of generosity from the community and have already had plenty of positive interactions. I don’t feel like I am a foreigner and I feel safe and welcomed by the JCU community. My study load is quite intense right now, so I am hoping to settle into my program and when I am feeling more relaxed, I will do some travelling and exploring, such as a visit to Magnetic Island.”


International Student Sara Arias Escudero with JCU's  Vice Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs.

What are your career aspirations?

“I am already a teacher in Colombia, but I want to gain more skills and knowledge about the teaching profession in rural and remote areas in Australia, especially working with indigenous peoples and minorities. I want to better prepare myself for the future and different teaching situations.

My own country is very diverse, and I feel like I have been quite privileged in life, which makes me want to give back to others. Sometimes being part of a minority is not easy. I want to work with people in communities that are less represented and help them achieve their education goals.”

What is your advice for prospective international students?

“Balance is so important. It’s important to make friends and socialise, but you also need to organise your schedule so you can prioritise other things like your studies, your health, and your finances. My advice to new international students would to be conscious of your time and the things you need to get done each week and you will be able to flourish at JCU.”