When COVID travel restrictions meant Indonesian school leaver Sharon Viona would not be travelling to Tasmania earlier this year to begin her university studies, she simply picked up her laptop and logged in to online classes.

And the Accelerated Bachelor of Business student did not miss a beat, picking up a perfect Grade Point Average (GPA) of 7.0 in her first semester of study.

And while Sharon hopes to eventually experience Tasmania for herself, she is committed to continuing her study online.

We spoke to Sharon about her success, what she is most looking forward to when she finally makes it to Tasmania in person, and whether she would recommend the University of Tasmania to other Indonesian students. 

Hi Sharon! Where in Indonesia do you live, and which high school did you attend?

I live in the suburb of Tangerang city which is directly adjacent to Jakarta, the Indonesian capital. I graduated from Penabur Gading Serpong High School with an Indonesia national curriculum and majored in science.

What course are you studying, and what go you interested in this particular subject area?

I am taking the Accelerated Bachelor of Business, majoring in Accounting. My dream has always been to have my own business someday.

How did you hear about the University of Tasmania, and why did you decide to study here?

I first heard about the University of Tasmania from my education agent, and then they connected me to the in-country manager of the University of Tasmania in Indonesia, Rachel Tan.

The main reason I decided to study with the University of Tasmania was the chance to undertake a fast-track program completing my Bachelor’s degree in two years.

What has your experience been like?

So far, the experience of my online learning has been good, and MyLo is very easy for me to access. However, I am also very keen to have more experiences later on actually in Tasmania.

COVID has meant your learning with University of Tasmania has been conducted online so far. Have you felt supported during this time?

From the very beginning, I felt really supported by the University of Tasmania, through Rachel who has been there for me since day one, and also through my student peer study support leader, Michelle, who has helped with my online learning. In addition, UTAS (University of Tasmania) UConnect has always provided a supporting service to the students.

Have you been able to meet other students based in Tasmania, and also from other countries, during your time with University of Tasmania?

I made friends with several people in the same units back then in my first trimester. I haven’t got a chance to meet them face to face due to the pandemic, but I have connected to them via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat. Some of them are Australian and Indonesian  citizens who live in Launceston, as well as a Chinese friend who is still in China.

How do you stay in touch with Michelle, and how often do you communicate?

We use WhatsApp to keep communicate with each other and we use Zoom as well to have a call. We usually make a Zoom meeting for one hour in each week. However, every time I need an assistance, she is there to help me.

You have attained a GPA of 7. What do you put this success down to?

To attain a GPA of 7, I always keep my study on track and ensure that I am understand all the given lessons. Furthermore, I always try my best to get all my tasks done by following the scoring rubric that is given by the lecturer.

Would you recommend the University of Tasmania to other Indonesian students who are considering different universities? And if so, why?

Obviously yes, because I have felt that the University of Tasmania is really supporting its students. 

What are you most looking forward to about Tasmania? 

Making new friends, learning a new culture, enjoying the nature of Tasmania, and getting my English skills more fluent.

Are there any other aspects of your University of Tasmania experience that you would like to mention?

I first heard about the University of Tasmania just a week before Orientation Day in May, but I have never regretted my choice. I am very glad to know the University of Tasmania and my experience as an International student at the University of Tasmania has been amazing.

The University of Tasmania really cares for its students and I feel really supported even though I am online. I even had a call from UTAS to ensure that I had no problems with this university life. I am really looking forward to go to UTAS straight after the Australia’s borders open.

Interested in studying a Bachelor of Business (Accelerated)? Apply now.