Jayrod Olarte originally comes from Manila in the Philippines, but immigrated to Australia when he was 12 years old. He decided to study nursing as he has strong ties to the profession in his family. His father and uncle are registered nurses, and his mother used to be a midwife.
“Nursing is strong in my family. That’s part of the reason I decided to become a nurse, but I also wanted to help people.”
“JCU is a good university – I’m with my family here and my Mum gets to cook for me, which is great.”
Although he completed high school in Australia, Jayrod still has deep connections to his cultural community and Filipino heritage.
“I think the best advice for international students is not to stress, because we are going to help you out. Townsville is a multicultural city, and Filipinos are well looked after here.”
“There are regular Filipino festivals and cultural events, so you won’t feel any culture shock. It’s different here because Australia is a developed country. It’s a great experience.”
During his degree Jayrod has worked on several clinical placements, which he considers the highlight of his studies. He’s had experience in hospital rotations, oncology, palliative care and medical imaging. His next placement will be based in Winton, a remote town in western Queensland.
“I feel so lucky to have been on really good placements. My favourite has been with oncology. It’s sad to see people being diagnosed with cancer, but being there to support them is heartwarming for me. To see my patients smile and to help them reach their goals makes me happy.”
In his spare time, Jayrod works part-time as a fast food Shift Assistant and enjoys socialising with other nursing students.
“JCU has a great party life. Our exam week is stressful, so it’s a relief to have some fun after your study. JCU offers us the opportunity to relax and have a big break which is really fantastic.”
“There are also a fair few Filipino students at JCU. Filipinos are friendly, and they’ll never leave you hanging.”
When he completes his degree, Jayrod wants to secure a job working in oncology nursing, and eventually work his way up to management.