Henry: Moving from China to Adelaide and finding a home

Originally from China, Flinders Engineering student Henry Zhang has found a home in Adelaide, at Flinders University.

International student Henry Zhang from China
Last Updated Tuesday 19th March, 2024

Originally from China, Flinders University Engineering student Henry Zhang has found a home in Adelaide, at Flinders University.

“I love living here. The people in Adelaide [are] very friendly to you and they are happy to help you,” Henry says. “I think studying in Adelaide is a very good choice. You have a very good environment to improve your English, and to engage with the local people and learn the real Australian culture.”

It was a recommendation from friends regarding life in Adelaide that convinced the Bachelor of Civil Engineering student to look at studying in Australia.

Cost of living in Adelaide

“I think compared with Sydney and Melbourne, Adelaide is more economical than the big cities in Australia. And some of my friends told me that Adelaide is a lovely place and the people are friendly.”

Hailing from Jingdezhen, in the north-western province of China, Henry compares it to the mainland China equivalent of Mount Gambier – just really busy. “It’s a huge difference in the lifestyle compared to my home country, the lifestyle is pretty fast – everyone is rushing on the road. In Adelaide, you can actually really enjoy your life and enjoy your study. It’s a very lovely place,” he says.

Outside of the location, it was the placement and postgraduate opportunities that sealed the deal for Flinders.

“The reason why I chose to study in Australia at Flinders University is that the Civil Engineering degree gave me the opportunity to do a 20-week work experience program.  Which is one of the longer placements available in Adelaide.”

Graduate job-ready

Real-world industry connections are what international students crave. It plays a vital component in helping them graduate experienced and work-ready for the graduate job market. The placements provide students with the chance to network and get a head start on their competition – all while working on live industry projects. It’s an invaluable experience, agrees Henry.

“I have done my 20-week placement opportunity with the Australian Rail Track Corporation, which has given me an opportunity to combine my theoretical knowledge with real industry experience. And that is a good opportunity to learn about how a real industry works in Australia.”

International student support

Henry is confident he can find work in his field after graduation.

“In the future, I want to specialise as a structural engineer. And Flinders do have a lot of strong cooperation between different industry companies in Adelaide, as well as Australia,” he says.

Closely located to the main Bedford Park campus, the high-tech Tonsley campus houses state-of-the-art facilities – and centrally locates computer science, engineering and mathematics. Alongside the Medical Device Research Institute and Centre for NanoScale Science Technology, the Tonsley Innovation District is home to some of Adelaide’s biggest businesses and industries. It provides students the ability to engage with leading business enterprises – bringing real industry experiences and practice into the classroom.

Additionally, Tonsley hosts the New Venture Institute, an entrepreneurial incubator that has launched over 325 start ups.

“And they [Flinders] also help me to create my resume, my cover letters and even in improving my skills to attend interviews. The university does help a lot – for international students – to find a job in Adelaide as well as South Australia.”

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