Nigel: Ready for a global career in aviation

As soon as he finished high school, Nigel knew he wanted to help people travel the world and experience many cultures by becoming an airline pilot. After considering study options in several countries, Nigel chose Adelaide where he’s studying for a Bachelor of Aviation (Flight) at the University of South Australia. 

We spoke to Nigel about his career plans and the differences between studying in Hong Kong and Adelaide.

International student Nigel from Hong Kong
Last Updated Tuesday 19th March, 2024

Why did you choose to study in Adelaide?

I wanted to study aviation, and the University of South Australia is the first university to offer a degree in aviation in Australia. I did consider places like the United States, but I chose Adelaide because it’s safe and the living costs are reasonable. Also, I’m planning a global career, and I think the universities here offer a multicultural experience with students from all over the world.

What’s the main difference between studying in Hong Kong and studying in Adelaide?

I think it’s the focus on individuals. In Eastern places, it’s more like a single-sided delivery of knowledge. Here the teachers are interactive, and they encourage creativity. In terms of lifestyle, I have more time to spend on outdoor activities like going to the countryside or the beaches. In Adelaide, you have a quality of life that many Hong Kong students will like.

Why did you want to study aviation?

The main reason is that I like to travel around the world. I think it’s a good mission for me to help people travel and experience other cultures.

After graduation, what kind of roles would you like to try in your industry?

My career goal is to become an airline pilot or to work as a regulatory officer in civil aviation where they look after safety, drone operations and licensing for airports and facilities. I’m open to many career opportunities in aviation.

How will your university program help you become career ready?

We get to use facilities that are of an extremely high standard. We have a 737 flight simulator which trains us in a very professional way, just like the airlines would. We also have theory courses that are up to the industry standards which pilots need to know. The major areas of aviation are covered, and we get to know the whole picture of the industry and different career options.

How do you feel about the aviation industry in Adelaide, and how can it help you become career ready?

Because Adelaide is a centre of aviation training, I get to network with a lot of people who are in the industry. We have an Aviation Student Organisation which invites local and international companies to come on campus and talk about job opportunities. The University of South Australia has good industry contacts, and they help connect us with employers. I’m also a member of some professional groups outside the university. All these networking opportunities help me learn the qualities and attitudes I will need for a job in this field. 

How do you think your life in Adelaide will help contribute to your future career success?

I think it goes back to the multicultural side. Studying in Adelaide is a very good chance to get to know people from other cultures which is key to building transferrable skills that are relevant to my industry.

What’s a favourite thing about Adelaide?

My favourite restaurant is Osteria Oggi. All my friends and family are envious that I can get such nice seafood and wine in Adelaide.

What would you say to other Hong Kong students thinking about studying in Adelaide?

If you have the chance, go get it. You’ll see things you wouldn’t expect back at home. If you want a change of lifestyle, Adelaide should be on your list. And you should also pay attention to the scholarship opportunities, which can help if you really want to study abroad.

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