From Penang to Sydney – Eva fulfils a lifelong dream.

After winning the Outstanding Graduate Prize for UTS Foundation Studies, Eva is thriving at university.
After winning the Outstanding Graduate Prize for UTS Foundation Studies, Eva is thriving at university.

From the first time she visited a relative in hospital, Eva Paul Jing Tan knew she wanted to be a nurse. She says, “When I saw the nurses taking care and helping patients to get better and return to their normal lives, I wanted to do the same. I really enjoy helping others and I want to see people get better. Nursing is a profession where I can apply my knowledge in the healthcare system. Nurses can save lives.”

After completing UTS Foundation Studies from her home in Penang, Malaysia last year, she’s well on the way to achieving her career goal. Eva arrived in Sydney recently to begin her Bachelor of Nursing at UTS. “It feels great to actually start my degree,” she says, “and to know that in three years’ time, if I succeed, I will become a Registered Nurse.”

Finding a pathway to UTS
Eva chose UTS after researching available courses. She says, “After completing secondary school, I attended an education fair. UTS really stood out as offering a very high standard of nursing education. Because I wanted to prepare thoroughly, I began with UTS Foundation Studies at UTS College. I wanted to come to Australia for the course, but the border was closed back then.”

Although she was disappointed that she couldn’t attend the UTS College campus, Eva was quite impressed with the Live Online experience. “Everything was well set up and my schedule was clear. I knew what class to join and where to join it. I could also speak to the teachers privately through the breakout rooms, ask for assistance, and have a private chat when I needed to,” she says. Eva also enjoyed the course assignments. She says, “In one assessment task, I had to make a video about teaching others. I decided to make a three-minute video, teaching a recipe with all the steps and instructions. It was really fun for me to film the video and edit it afterwards and I was really proud of the final result. At UTS College I learnt a lot of skills that are helping me at UTS. We did a lot of presentations, and I learnt about time management and how to go about assessments. It’s given me more confidence.”

Celebrating a big achievement
Eva’s confidence also received a boost when she won the Outstanding Graduate award for attaining the highest grade-point-average (GPA) in her graduating class at UTS College. She says, “It was a big surprise. It showed me that I can actually achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.” Eva was at home in Penang when she got the news of her win. “I was just laying on my bed, scrolling through my phone when I saw the email from UTS College. I jumped out of bed and called out to my Mum, and then we shared the news with the rest of the family. We celebrated by eating out. In Malaysia, we normally cook in the house, so it’s special to go out to a nice restaurant,” she says.

Meeting lifelong friends
With the good news that Australia was reopening its borders to international students, Eva arranged to travel to Sydney with another Malaysian classmate from UTS Foundation Studies. “I would say meeting friends was one of the best things about UTS College. You can meet lifelong friends. It was so nice travelling to Sydney with one of my friends because it’s my first time there. I don’t have any family in Australia so it’s good having a buddy with me,” she says.

A new city to explore
After taking care of practicalities like opening a bank account and sorting out her mobile, Eva has enjoyed exploring Sydney. “I like taking the bus, the light rail, the train,” she says, “going places and getting familiar with the city itself. One thing that’s surprised me is the transport system. It’s really complete so I can go anywhere I want. Even though it’s different from Malaysia I got used to it very quickly.” She’s also enjoying the campus. She says, “There are great facilities, such as the library, and I really like the study areas. They’re perfect for meeting people face to face.”

Eva is excited about what lies ahead once she has completed her degree. She says, “Once I have become a Registered Nurse and have experienced working in a hospital, I’d like to further my studies in a more specialised area of nursing. There are so many possibilities! It’s a very wide range and I’m still exploring.”