Åsmund Helness is from a beautiful and chilly city called Bergen, in Norway. He moved to Townsville in February 2015 to commence his Bachelor of Psychological Science at JCU.
“Psychology is an area back home that’s very difficult to get into because so many people are doing it. My high school grades weren’t good enough to get in, so I decided to go abroad instead. There was something about the Tropics that appealed to me, so I ended up in northern Queensland.”
“I had a fascination with psychology for years. I like learning about why people do the things they do and what motivates them. There are so many interesting disciplines within psychology to choose from.”
Since beginning his studies, Åsmund says that the highlight of his course has been the knowledge he has gained from his subjects.
“Everything we learn is really exciting and interesting. We’ve touched on the history of psychology and I’ve learnt about how the brain works, as well as genetics, behaviour, personality and lots of other things.”
“My lecturers and tutors have been helpful and knowledgeable. They know their stuff and they’re good at teaching it.”
Åsmund joined the JCU Psychology Society to attend social gatherings such as their ‘Meet and Greet’ and movie nights to connect with people who have similar interests. However, he believes that settling in overall wasn’t too difficult despite the drastic change in climate.
“The culture isn’t too different here, so there weren’t many big changes from the move. I love the heat and the campus is beautiful as well.”
Having only recently arrived in Australia, Åsmund is making the most of his time here, and fondly remembers a road trip he took with his family along the coast of Queensland.
“It was my family’s first time in Australia and they loved it. We started in Cairns and drove down to Brisbane, stopping at a lot of places like Mackay and the Sunshine Coast. My favourite place was Cairns – we snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef there.”
Upon completion of his Bachelor’s degree, Åsmund aims to continue his studies with an Honours year at JCU, and eventually become an accredited clinical psychologist. He also has a small word of advice for future students coming from Norway to study at JCU.