Originally from Mauritius, sisters Shraddha and Dhanishta Lallchand have been each other’s biggest support while studying in Australia.
Moving half-way across the world – whether for study, work or family reasons – is a major life event for anyone who is brave enough to take the global leap.
And while international adventure comes with plenty of rewards, it also comes with challenges: language, culture, and the ongoing absence of family, friends and familiarity.
But for Shraddha and Dhanishta Lallchand, many of these have been far less bumpy simply because they’ve been able to share their global study adventure.
Originally from Mauritius, the sisters have both studied Deakin’s Bachelor of Commerce.
Shraddha, who graduated in 2020, is now working as a Graduate Analyst with Deloitte Australia while Dhanishta is expecting to complete her studies in 2022.
Shraddha says that Australia was always her ‘number-one study destination’ with Deakin’s commerce program offering her the most flexible study options.
‘Being able to delve into the different areas of commerce during my first year, before deciding what to specialise in, enabled me to explore all of my possible career moves. The student-centred support meant I was also welcomed into the Deakin community before enrolling.’
For Dhanishta, the decision to join her sister and study in Australia came with numerous incentives.
‘Since high school, I’ve wanted to pursue a career in the financial industry … hearing about Deakin from my sister, I was impressed by the course structure, student support services and opportunities. I was also excited to explore Australia’s multicultural diversity while its climate – which is similar to Mauritius – was the cherry on top!’ she says.
Having Dhanishta join her at Deakin made a ‘huge difference’ to Shraddha’s study experience she says.
‘My sister is my best friend and my confidant. She was there when I felt overloaded with work or study and we had each other’s backs. The moral support definitely strengthened the both of us and made our lives in Australia easier. The familiarity also kept us grounded and enabled us to cherish our Mauritian heritage through our shared meals and nostalgic conversations.’
Throughout their studies, the Lallchand sisters have embraced as many opportunities as possible to enrich their Deakin experience.
As a recipient of Deakin’s Vice Chancellor’s International Scholarship, Dhanishta is a member of the Vice Chancellor’s Professional Excellence Program (VCPEP) which offers students tailored activities to cultivate personal, professional and academic development.
‘The regular development and mentoring meetings help me map out my career pathway and discuss any issues relating to my studies while the other experiences equip me with the suitable skills to become a well-rounded individual,’ she explains.
During her studies, Shraddha took on various volunteer roles at Deakin, was awarded a Deakin International Merit Scholarship, completed a study abroad experience in Italy, and an internship with Deloitte Australia.
She says the three-month internship with Deloitte provided her with valuable insight into the Australian work environment while delivering skills around balancing work with study.
‘This really helped my professional development, ultimately paving the way to my full-time graduate role at Deloitte.’
Based in the financial services team, Shraddha enjoys every aspect of her new role.
‘Each day I’m challenged to do something new … it’s a continual learning process. I’m also looking forward to starting my Chartered Accountant (CA) journey. Being able to upskill through the organisation is very exciting,’ she says.
With still another year left to complete her degree, Dhanishta is currently working towards professional placements while continuing to ‘give back’ to the university community.
‘I’m a volunteer mentor with the Faculty of Business and Law, a Success Coach (which involves assisting new students based in our Cloud Campus) and also an online editor at WORDLY, which is produced by the Deakin Writers Club in association with DUSA.’
Shraddha and Dhanishta both agree that a willingness to ‘be involved and challenged’ is one of the most important keys to international study success.
‘Don’t be afraid to put your hand up to get the most out of this “once-in-a-lifetime” experience,’ advises Shraddha, while Dhanishta says that tapping into Deakin’s hub of support services and networking opportunities has strengthened her academic experience.
‘Choosing Deakin means emerging as a graduate who is career-ready and fully equipped with a remarkable portfolio of skills.’