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The journey of a Menzies School of Health Research Master’s student

Postgraduate work is demanding. However, with the support of the Menzies Education Team, students are able to strike the right work-life balance, gain a world-class degree and enjoy a tropical lifestyle.

Little wonder why Menzies graduates take their first professional steps with confidence, securing jobs in national and international health services and government ministries. They assume the roles of public health leaders, program planners, analysts, evaluators, health policy officers and professional practitioners. This is the journey that gets them there:

Menzies School of Health Research

Unique and relevant — two words one could use to describe the postgraduate public health and health research offerings delivered by Menzies School of Health Research for Charles Darwin University (CDU). In a time where complex population health and social issues in cross-cultural, local and global environments proliferate, the school plays a crucial role: arming students with the knowledge, skills and tools to act.

The Master of Health Research and Master of Public Health are popular options for professional development with Menzies. You can also opt for a double degree that culminates in both qualifications. Alternate entry points into these programs include: The Graduate Certificate of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control; the Graduate Diploma of Health Research; or the Graduate Diploma of Public Health.

Regardless of chosen routes, every learner is equipped to address major public health challenges on a global scale — think health inequities; economic and social determinants; changing environmental conditions; infectious and chronic diseases; development and urbanisation; and access to and accessibility of services.

Bisal Kadariya's journey

While Bisal's lessons are mostly theoretical, the school understands the importance of learners exploring various aspects of the industry before taking their first professional steps. When he realised his interest in the quantitative aspects of research, they guided him towards enrolling in various other courses from different curricula offered by Menzies.

Bisal’s newfound confidence also made it all the easier for him to interact with the experts that frequent the Menzies campus. In indigenous health lessons, many would arrive from near and far to discuss their current projects, share their experiences from working directly with communities, and explain public health in new and exciting ways.

Keen industry insights

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Gesture, Happy

When Bisal was finally able to begin in-person lessons, there wasn’t much to get used to. He had already connected with the lecturers and peers he first met online. Class sizes were small, ensuring that each student got maximum attention from their lecturer.

“More often than not, there were just five of us,” Bisal explains. “I’ve never been in a more interactive setting. The other students I met in class on my first day were international students as well, so we had a lot in common. Today, we’re all best friends.”

Bisal thanks these bonds for breaking him out of his shell. The once-introverted student now loves opening up to new people and speaking out about topics he isn’t sure about. Thankfully, his educators have always been just as welcoming, humble and ever-willing to help international students get accustomed to their new surroundings.

Smooth transitions

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Outdoor recreation, Shorts, Smile, Sky, Yellow, Leisure
Outdoor recreation, Shorts, Smile, Sky, Yellow, Leisure

Bisal opted to pursue a Graduate Diploma of Health Research and Master of Public Health. While online learning wasn’t something he was used to, he credits CDU and Menzies for making it exciting.

“Lecturers were always on standby to help me with any technical issues,” he says. “They were quick to upload the materials and resources we needed to complete our lessons. They were even quicker when it came to assessments and productive feedback. Even when I would send them questions over the weekend, they would always get back to me.”

To ensure online lessons were engaging, lecturers kept each fresh. From nurses to nutritionists, classrooms were diverse with students boasting various medical backgrounds. Menzies lecturers would often leverage these perspectives by asking students to relate their backgrounds to current healthcare topics. The discussions sparked were always profound.

With the flexibility came several opportunities to develop key skills. Bisal is now confident in his abilities to think critically, manage his time effectively and learn independently –– all of which he’s sure will serve him well in the future.

Discovering a resilient education

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Social group, Smile, Chair, Leisure, Laptop, Happy, Community, Menzies School of Health Research
Social group, Smile, Chair, Leisure, Laptop, Happy, Community, Menzies School of Health Research

Born to a family of healthcare workers, Bisal Kadariya had very specific plans once graduating high school. Pursuing a bachelor of pharmacy was the first entry on his academic bucket list. Once he had crossed it off, he applied his newfound knowledge as a clinical hospital pharmacist. The exposure opened his eyes to a greater calling.

“I came across a number of issues,” Bisal explains. “Few were in the healthcare management and administrative sector; however, most were within the public health domain. The lack of awareness about communicable diseases, nutrition and hygiene struck me the most.”

He thought that by keeping his education local, he would be able to fast-track his journey to implementing the change he wanted to see. Nepal, however, offered little options to him. When he discovered Menzies, he realised two years were all he needed. As quickly as his mind was made, his bags were packed. Thankfully, CDU handled his application well and Bisal managed to arrive in Darwin just nine hours before a COVID-19 lockdown was imposed.

Despite not being able to immediately explore his new surroundings, Bisal liked what he saw. The city exuded peace, serenity and boasted “one of the greatest sunsets” he had ever seen. He knew the tranquillity would perfectly complement the rigours of the academic adventure he was about to begin.

A warm Menzies welcome

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People in nature, Flash photography, Water, Sky, Light, Afterglow, Happy, Sunlight, Gesture

A better understanding of current affairs sparked Bisal’s passion for giving back. He got involved with the CDU-supported Kindness Shake initiative, giving out free meals to international students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19. At Menzies, he volunteered written and oral translation services to researchers who were conducting studies on Nepal — so much so, they began compensating him for his help.

The exposure inspired him to expand his goals. Once upon a time, he planned to return to Nepal after graduating to join a reputable research hospital as a Pharmacist and Healthcare Consultant/Researcher to resolve local public health and clinical issues.

Today, with broadened horizons, he has now set bigger goals. With the Master of Public Health qualification he will receive in December, he hopes to explore material anaemia and combat malaria in low and middle-income countries.

Upon graduating, Bisal plans to remain in Darwin and land a job as a quantitative research assistant. “I’m not leaving,” he enthuses.

An enriching journey that inspires new aspirations

“There are more opportunities and skills for me to gain here than there are for me back home. Thankfully, researchers in Nepal and Menzies have extremely close ties. I hope to get involved in these collaborations while on my journey to solving tropical health issues on a global scale.”
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An enriching study abroad adventure awaits at Menzies School of Health Research at Charles Darwin University

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