Originally from Bundaberg, Khilan Shukla moved to Cairns to study a Bachelor of Dental Surgery.
“I’ve always wanted to study dentistry, so when I got offered a place at JCU I thought it would be great to study in the Tropics and learn more about rural health and medicine.”
The highlight of Khilan’s studies has been the practical components of his course. He is currently in second year, learning about pathology, pharmacology and treatment of patients, in addition to learning how use dental drills on plastic teeth.
“The Dentistry Building at JCU is a 24-hour study space for us. The simulation and clinical facilities are well maintained and state-of-the-art.”
Khilan is also involved in campus life as an Academic Representative with the JCU Dental Student Association (JCUDSA), as well as student mentoring and part-time tutoring.
“Until I started at JCU, I had not seen such a strong mentoring aspect where other students guide you through university. I’ve found that having that to fall back on helps a lot – that level of social support is really beneficial.”
After the move to Cairns, Khilan settled into a nearby student lodge where he has forged strong, supportive friendships.
“One of the best decisions I made was staying in student accommodation. A lot of other students in my cohort stayed there too, and it helped us develop a really strong bond.”
“It’s almost like having a family up here, which helps with the overall move.”
Khilan advises new dentistry students to maintain a balanced life to get the most out of the degree. He enjoys participating in social and cultural events through JCUDSA, as well as exploring Cairns, rainforest walking and going to the beach in his spare time.
“It’s good to know we live in a really nice, tropical place where you can relax and de-stress in your spare time.”
Upon graduation, Khilan is considering studying a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery in Townsville before eventually training to become a specialist in maxillofacial surgery.