University study can provide lifelong learners the chance for a fresh challenge, a career shift for those looking to change their industry, or, in the case of some, it can do a little of both.

UNE Master of Applied Linguistics student, Clare Galvin, is one such individual. After an initial undergraduate degree and some time in the workforce, Clare decided to return to university to explore something a little different.

I am in my second trimester of a Master of Applied Linguistics. My first trimester was only part time, so I have a fair way to go yet. I did my undergraduate degree in physics and maths at the University of Sydney, and then worked in financial services. After I had been out of uni for a while, I wanted to get back into structured learning, and to try something new.”

As a mature age student, one of factors in Clare’s decision for where to begin their new study journey was the ability to comfortably study online. “I had a few friends who had studied online at UNE while working and recommended it,” says Clare while discussing why they chose UNE. “The course plan for the Master of Applied Linguistics looked interesting, so I decided to apply late last year.”

I had actually considered taking some linguistics units as electives back in my undergrad degree, but ending up taking Classical Greek instead. Around ten years later, I decided to see what I missed out on at 18.”

While Clare notes that they are not entirely certain of what they want to do following their Master of Applied Linguistics, they are eager for the journey ahead. “I am planning to complete the thesis component, to have the option of a PhD, but I still have a fair bit of coursework to complete. My main goal is to learn new, interesting things, and keep my options open.”

While the connection between Clare’s initial undergraduate degree in physics and maths, and their current study of linguistics may seem like a departure, that isn’t necessarily the case. The circumstances of their study and time working in financial services have given Clare a unique perspective, and the insightful analytical skills that they say help with their current studies.

“I’ve found an analytic mind-set is transferable between a lot of fields, from maths and physics to credit policy to linguistics.”

When discussing what they enjoy most in their Master studies, Clare expressed their passion for learning by discussing the joys of exploring new avenues of knowledge. I am really enjoying learning completely new things – I have never studied these topics before so each week is something different.”

When they aren’t exploring new learning opportunities, Clare has been excited to visit theatres, galleries and museums now that they are beginning to open up again; as well as their furthering their enjoyment of exploring cities and urban parklands.

Clare has these parting words for their fellow students and those who are thinking of pursuing a similar study journey to them: “If you think you want to study something, just go for it. The more you know, the more you can do, and education opens up new opportunities.”