Love sends mountain guide soaring on new path | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Love sends mountain guide soaring on new path

Following his heart has taken Himalayan mountain bike guide Jay Lama from riding among the highest peaks in the world to studying nursing at USC’s Fraser Coast campus.

“Most Nepalese students travel abroad for further studies or better life opportunities but I had a different reason – I simply fell in love and married a girl who had come to Australia to pursue further education,” Jay said.

“When we met, Diki had already finished her studies and was working as a registered nurse in Bundaberg,” said the adventure-seeker who led high altitude rides in the Himalayas and tours along ancient trade routes of Kathmandu Valley.

“Knowing my job in Nepal was not going to be much help when I moved to Australia, I completed a Certificate III in Aged Care and gained a job in a Bundaberg nursing home.”

He ended up also finding a new passion. “I discovered that I loved nursing and caring for people as a profession so enrolled in a Nursing degree,” he said.

“I still ride my mountain bike as a hobby but consider nursing a much more satisfying and rewarding pathway to follow.”

The second-year Bachelor of Nursing Science student commutes two-hours each way from Bundaberg to study at USC’s Fraser Coast campus.

“Friends from Nepal who study at USC highly recommended its Nursing Science degree and the quality of teaching at USC Fraser Coast,” he said.

“I am absolutely glad to be here. I like the atmosphere and am impressed by the support networks for international students and the professional guidance from the lecturers.”

The region’s coastal lifestyle and the welcome he received are other highlights of his international study experience.

“I was born and raised in mountains which I love but as we do not have oceans around Nepal I now equally adore Australia’s beach landscapes,” he said.

“I find Australians very welcoming, kind, friendly and supportive people.”

USC Fraser Coast is growing in popularity with international students with more than 10 students enrolled at the campus this semester.

Earlier this year, Indian nurse Nilamben Patel, who travelled halfway around the world to upgrade her qualifications at USC Fraser Coast, become the first international student to graduate from the campus.

— Clare McKay

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