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Asylum seeker Amrita Kharel was able to continue her studies in engineering and transform her life, thanks to a Welcome Scholarship from Swinburne.
Amrita came to Australia with her family in 2006, fleeing a country gripped by civil war.
“My family were farmers living in a small rural town. When I got older, my father sent me to live in the city with family, to experience a different environment. It was a very turbulent time in Nepal.”
“When we arrived in Australia we faced many challenges, including the language barrier. Although I tried to improve my English I was always more passionate about mathematics.”
After completing her schooling Amrita decided to study a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (Honours).
"I chose this area of study because when we lived in Nepal we did not have good infrastructure and sometimes there were issues with the roads. I think it is an area of study that has real impact and it has to be taught well".
When it came time to select a university, there were many factors to consider.
"I know that Swinburne will provide me with a global and quality education in the field of civil engineering. I also know that Swinburne graduates have a high employment rate”, she says.
"The Swinburne campus has an amazing atmosphere and is close to the city. It’s also right by the train station. I live over one hour away, travelling for both work and study, so it was something I had to consider."
Amrita’s determination and a desire for a better life earned her one of Swinburne’s Welcome Scholarships in 2017.
“I was so grateful and honoured to receive this scholarship – it has been life-changing. It gives me the financial support I need to get back to my studies and pursue my goals.”
Amrita works in a palliative care facility and tutors students, occasionally working nights and going to class in the morning. As for her future, Amrita has her sights set high.
“I want to be a professor, I want to conduct research and teach. It is such a rewarding job.”
The Welcome Scholarships program has helped a number of dedicated students, but demand is high. To find out how you can set up a named scholarship to support refugees and asylum seekers contact the Advancement Office.
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I was so grateful and honoured to receive this scholarship – it has been life changing.
Amrita Kharel, Welcome Scholarship recipient