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Our stories

Your Future


James Cook University Brisbane has developed an environment providing students with a special experience and a unique range of services. The aim of this booklet is to provide future students with information regarding James Cook University Brisbane and its unique points of difference first hand. Not from an agent, not a sales person, but from current and recently graduated students who have experienced for themselves the James Cook University Brisbane difference. This is a compilation of real stories, from real students who wanted to share their experiences with you.

Justin Sharp Chief Executive Officer James Cook University Brisbane

Studying at

JCU Brisbane

Far beyond your expectations James Cook University Brisbane (JCU Brisbane) is a purpose built, inner city, higher education facility focusing on teaching and learning innovation. When you commence study at JCU Brisbane, you will soon realise that you are not only gaining a degree at the end of your studies, you are also creating a pathway towards your future career. We are committed to provide you with the theoretical knowledge and the necessary soft skills most organisations look for when employing new graduates.

Did you know? JCU lecturers from a range of study areas have won 12 national awards in the past two years for excellence in teaching.

Keryn Jones

South Africa Bachelor of Business Student I decided to come to Brisbane and study accounting so that I could be with my family, who were here before me, and also to broaden my horizons in a different career field as well as to experience another country besides my own (being South Africa). I chose to study at James Cook University in Brisbane because it is linked with CRICOS, it is in the same city as my family, so I would have a support system as well as I was pleased with the fact that there were small ratios in classes. It gives me the feeling of more personal attention and helps with a better understanding instead of sitting in a lecture theatre of 300 plus students. The other reason I chose James Cook University Brisbane was because they offered a AUD$1000 incentive per subject for all international students who receive a High Distinction. The lecturers are very open and understanding and have never had any problems answering any questions but even if they are not too sure, they find out and come back to me. I have also been able to keep a friendly relationship with all my previous lecturers which is great because then I do not feel like just a number but rather a person and that I am remembered.

Christian Gunznur 

Germany Bachelor of Business Graduate Well, why did I leave Germany and choose Australia as my place to live and study for a year? My choice had more to do with work-life-balance, surrounding the daily routine of University. Each vehicle number plate tells you: Queensland – The Sunshine State, whereas in Bavaria there is a saying that “the sun is always shining in the beer tent”; which simply wasn’t enough for me anymore. I had no idea about Australia and its people. It was only a few months before beginning my Bachelor degree at JCU Brisbane that I first came in contact with Aussies. Having a few beers with them I found that the culture was to my liking, an impression which became even more intense during my stay here in Brisbane. Good weather, friendly people and lastly the city itself, with its exhibitions, parks and much more offers an impressive quality of life. I chose JCU Brisbane because my former education organisation in Munich has an established partnership and recognised my degree, which gave me the possibility to do my Bachelors’ degree within one year. Studying at JCU Brisbane requires more team skills than any other degree that I have attended. This is a new experience for me, providing the best moments in University when a goal is achieved in a team, but also nerve-racking moments where things went in the wrong direction. However, achieving goals in a team with members of culturally diverse backgrounds might be the best preparation for your later work life and therefore JCU Brisbane is an excellent place to practice. Lecturers at JCU have a practical background enabling you to gather lots of knowledge from their experiences in the real business world. Finally the class sizes are much smaller compared to other Universities, enabling active participation and asking questions directly to the lecturer: this simply helps you to get the most out of your degree.

Hannel Perez

Venezuela Master of Business Administration Student I have been in Australia for around one and a half years, but Brisbane trapped me for its weather, safety, and lifestyle. I believe what makes Australia so special is its multi-ethnic and multicultural society, surrounded by its natural beauty. It was very important for me to find a place where I could find similar Caribbean weather, so I could feel at home. At first I just wanted to learn English with native language speakers, then with the pretext of staying a little bit longer I enrolled in a business course, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Business at JCU Brisbane. And now, I am studying a Master degree at the same uni! Thanks to JCU Brisbane, I now posses wonderful experiences from many work environments, from telecommunications to oil companies. I currently volunteer with the Smith Family and the experience, I can proudly say, has allowed me to help in the administrative process in supporting children’s education and learning. I’ve dreamed of finding the perfect opportunity that leads me to achieve personal and professional development. Now I know that at JCU Brisbane, everything is possible!

Johann Castro

Peru Bachelor of Business Graduate From my experience, JCU Brisbane is really the best of both worlds as we get to enjoy all the benefits of a smaller school like personalised attention and building strong relationships with faculty. I’ve discovered incredible opportunities at JCU Brisbane that I used to think were only available at large Universities, such as hands on research, access to a learning and support centre and classes that challenge you. One of the things I like the most about JCU is its great location, right in the heart of Brisbane CBD. I really like living in the city of Brisbane, its lifestyle and all its surrounding areas, a city that inspires innovation and creativity every day. Some of my highlights at JCU include: being strongly involved with the student council; being part of the mentoring program to mentor new students; finding a job that gave me the international experience I needed with the help of Joblinx; and participating in the first JCU graduation ceremony in Brisbane.

Phatthira (Ploy)Akkasinthawangkul

Thailand Master of International Tourism & Hospitality Graduate I recently graduated with a Master of International Tourism and Hospitality Management from JCU Brisbane, Australia. The subjects offered were very useful for working in the tourism industry, such as Tourism Systems Analysis, Tourism Operations Management and Strategic Management in the Hospitality Industry. As a student who was studying, living and working in Australia, I was always supported by JCU Brisbane, who provided assistance through orientation programs and Joblinx, to name a few. With great assistance and a degree to match, it makes me confident and proud to apply for a job in my home country of Phuket, Thailand. When I returned home there were not many jobs on offer, however, I was employed within one month at Splash Jungle Water Park as a Sales and Marketing Executive. Everything that JCU Brisbane has given me is precious: I have a master degree, excellent communication skills and a range of experiences which are very important things. I believe the skills I gained during my time at JCU Brisbane directly impacted my chances of being hired for this position.

At JCU Brisbane, everything is possible! Le Yen (Jade) Ngoc

Vietnam Bachelor of Business Student The Learning Resource Centre, which is usually known as “Level 2�, provides assistance to all students. The staff have been conducting many useful workshops to fulfill students’ basic study skills; helping students perfect their assignments by proof-reading. Besides, their services include implementing the mentors program which is helpful for both mentors and mentees. The staff also become patient advisers when students have trouble. Thanks to their support, I had overcome initial difficulties and feel more self-confident and mature than I used to be.



$A1,000 High Distinction Academic Award The High Distinction Academic Award is given to all international students who achieve a High Distinction score (typical grade of over 85%*) in their subjects. Available to all international students studying at JCU Brisbane, this is an ideal opportunity for students to be recognised and rewarded for their efforts.

Did you know? JCU Brisbane has awarded over $A765, 000 worth of High Distinction awards since this rewards system was first implemented in 2006.

*Calculation of High Distinction scores may sometimes vary and will be determined in accordance with JCU policies. Bursary conditions apply.

Kanchanapong (Koby) Chantawarangul Thailand Master of Professional Accounting Student

One of the best choices in my life was choosing James Cook University Brisbane as my Alma mater. Student life in the Brisbane campus has proven to be pleasant; the small classes make the lecturers very approachable; the student support centre provides academic assistance which allows me to adjust to the studying environment; and the diverse student body has exposed me to different cultural perspectives. As a student, academic excellence is one of my personal priorities. JCU Brisbane has the environment to foster academic excellence and creates an incentive for it by offering $A1000 bursary for every High Distinction. It’s good to achieve academic excellence and receive tangible benefits as well. James Cook University Brisbane has provided me with the right education and work experience opportunities which has allowed me to pursue my career aspirations. My time at JCU Brisbane has proven to be most educational, beneficial, and enjoyable.

Thuy Dinh (Tracy)Dam Vietnam Bachelor of Business Student

I have been with JCU Brisbane for two trimesters. The University has provided excellent services to all students, especially international students like me. I am more than happy to share my experience with all of you! James Cook University Brisbane established a $A1,000 High Distinction Bursary to reward hardworking students. I achieved a High Distinction for two subjects last trimester, and obtained $A2,000 which was placed towards my tuition fee. The bursary is really a big motivator for the students. We will work harder to obtain higher achievement in our studies. I am very satisfied with the services provided by James Cook University Brisbane and Joblinx. I love all the great work and efforts the University has done!

Natasha Cox

England Master of International Tourism & Hospitality Graduate I was in my final semester at Sheffield Hallam University in the beautiful (and some what rainy) South Yorkshire, Great Britain, and wanted to continue my studies. After spending 18 months of undergraduate studies in roasting hot Turkey, snowy Finland and the stunning Lake Garda there was no way that I could spend yet another year in rainy old England. With no thought what so ever I Googled “studying abroad” and what should grace my screen but Australia. I didn’t know much about Australia, but one thing I did know was that the sun shined in Australia, a lot! It seemed like a good option, so an application was sent off to JCU Brisbane with a far-flung dream of Australian surfers and 365 days of sunshine! My studies have enabled me to live my dream. They have given me the opportunity to have my eyes opened to the world around me. JCU Brisbane is a place where the lecturers really know and have time for their students, they are supportive and aware of the challenges we face both academically and personally. It is a place where different cultures combine to create a unique learning experience, offer ideas and insight which could not be gained anywhere else and an experience which will never be forgotten. My time in Australia has been incredible. It was tough moving to the other side of the globe, knowing no one and nothing of what to expect. I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I am still hunting for my handsome surfer to sweep me off my feet, I realised that the sun does not shine 24/7 in Australia, but more importantly I have met people who have inspired me to be the best version of me. Natasha has been awarded eight High Distinctions out of the nine subjects she has studied. Natasha plans to remain in Australia to study a PhD in Tourism.

The people I have met at JCU Brisbane have inspired me to be the best version of me.



12 Weeks of Real Industry Experience JCU Brisbane’s Professional Internships are recognised as world-class programs that offer valuable industry experience. The Professional Internship is a recognised subject carried out during a normal trimester. Interns are expected to spend 20 hours per week over 12-14 weeks engaged in practical and relevant professional activities with the host organisation. Professional Internships are highly sought after. They enhance graduate employment by providing: • Professional experience • Exposure to the Australian workforce • Qualified referees • Industry networks

Did you know? Our students have overwhelmingly indicated that they chose to study in Brisbane because of the wide range of opportunities provided to them through the services and departments at JCU Brisbane.

Maria McDougall

Canada Master of International Tourism & Hospitality Master of Business Administration Student The vast array of course elements of MITHM instilled a foundational understanding of the international tourism and hospitality management industry. I have acquired the skills to critically think with a global mindset. As part of my degree I enrolled in an internship at a Destination Management Organisation (DMO). The internship provided me the opportunity to apply the skills and theories obtained over the course of my studies, as well as gain new ones. I am beyond satisfied with my employment prospects upon graduation. This is a fantastic initiative as it provides me the opportunity to network with industry professionals, and showcase my experiences as a student studying abroad in Brisbane. Maria’s Internship project consisted of helping to place Brisbane on the international stage through the International Brisbane Student Ambassador program. Maria was appointed to this position by Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, and has the responsibility of conveying the best of Brisbane to her home country through various media and online communications.

It was like a dream come true for me!

Chaitanya Kakumanu India Master of Information Technology Graduate

Hello there! This testimonial is about my experiences with the Internship Program whilst studying at James Cook University Brisbane. I was pretty tense regarding my job prospects after graduation. Though I had a fairly good Grade Point Average (GPA) of 6.80, employers in Australia stressed having relevant work experience. Being a recent graduate, gaining experience in the relevant field, in my case, IT, was almost impossible. This is where the Internship Program of the University came in. This program places students as Interns in big companies where they work for a semester. This gives us the invaluable experience that is so sought after. I was selected for the Internship Program and was placed in a company called Urban Executive. My internship experience was so good, and I learned heaps. As a matter of fact, no matter what, real world work experience cannot be compensated. My mentor at the company was Mr. Steven Asnicar, who was also the CEO of the company. Though he was the CEO, he was always very friendly and supportive and always approachable. This was the part I most liked in him. During the internship, I worked on managing Learning Management Systems (LMS) and also developing iPhone applications. Hence I was working on so many different technologies. This environment is not available in other companies where each employee is trained on only a specific platform and has to work all the time on that. But here I learned so many different technologies, like Microsoft ASP. NET, Apple iPhone Programming, SQL Server 2008 to name a few. My employers were happy with my work and offered me full-time employment. It was like a dream come true for me. It was my aim since beginning my Master degree to be employed straight after graduation. Thanks to JCU Brisbane I have now achieved this aim of mine. The two years of my stay here at JCU Brisbane and in Australia have given me a new way of life, a new discipline in me; I have learned how to think ‘outside the box’.

Contact Us

James Cook University Brisbane 349 Queen Street, Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia Tel +61 7 3001 7800 Fax +61 7 3001 7899 Email Web CRICOS Provider Code 00117J

James Cook University - Brisbane Campus | Our Stories Your Future  

James Cook University (JCU) is the second oldest university in Queensland and Australia's leading university in the tropics. Offering excel...

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