Graduating with a degree in Tourism Management from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) in 2018, Deva had his career mapped out. Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck and very quickly, Deva says, “the tourism industry shut down all over the world”. But a trip to the Gold Coast to visit relatives in early 2020 was a chance to pause and rethink his future. Deciding to stay, he enrolled at Educare College in Southport and is now studying and working in the aged care sector. Deva says he is living an enviable lifestyle, where the pace is relaxed and his new career is personally rewarding.

Why did you decide to further your studies on the Gold Coast?

I was born and raised in Malaysia and went to UMT and was going to work in tourism until COVID-19 happened.  When I took my grandfather on a trip to see my uncle who lives on the Gold Coast, I had a chance to think about what I wanted to do. I had been taking care of my grandmother and grandfather at home, and I had that passion for caring in me, so I thought that was the same thing as working in aged care. 

Why did you choose Educare College to study for your aged care qualifications?

I was staying with my uncle’s family on the Gold Coast and looking into where there were aged care courses. When I called Educare, they made a good impression so I went with them for my Certificate IV in Ageing Support, and my Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). During my Certificate III, I secured a work placement with TriCare Aged Care and they offered me a job in residential care. So I was then working part-time while studying for my Certificate IV.

And you’ll be juggling study and work again this year?

Yes. Last year in December I got offered another part-time job with Centacare as a community support worker. You go to the client’s house and provide domestic assistance and care in their home. I started with them in January and now I am planning to do a Diploma in Community Service through Educare.

How did studying on the Gold Coast shape your life? Did you make a lot of friends?

When I first started studying, I did an English course at the Eagle Academy in Southport, just opposite the Gold Coast Student Hub. It is the main spot where I found my friends, my lifestyle, everything really. The Hub does weekly social hangouts and they have a job club and a weekly English Language Conversation event where you can meet a lot of people. Now I’ve got a really amazing group of friends that I still hang out with. They are from lots of different groups and cultural backgrounds. It is really multicultural and it is really amazing, you know, to learn other people’s culture.

Q: What are some of your best memories from your student days?

At the college, the lecturers and teachers were really supportive. They encouraged you to do what was best for you, and what you wanted to do. And they helped you with your studies. I remember being with students and they would be standing there with their surfboards ready to go surfing as soon as class was over – or between classes. It is a fun life. That’s what you want; you don’t want stress when you are studying.

And what would your advice be to someone who is considering studying on the Gold Coast?

The first thing they would be thinking as a student would be cost of living, which is much cheaper on the Gold Coast than other places, and the lifestyle is more relaxed here. I would strongly recommend anyone to study on the Gold Coast. If you want a city life you go to Surfers Paradise, geographically you are close to the mountains to go hiking and then on the other side you have the beach and the surf. So it is all in one. I chose the Gold Coast because everything is here and the lifestyle is free of stress. It is the first choice!