GAF Story

Pip Wheaton

Swinburne University
Bachelor of Design & Bachelor of Business

Pip Wheaton, Swinburne University scholar

Pip shares her experience undertaking a Business Innovation study tour throughout Europe.

You recently returned from studying overseas – where did you study and what were the details of the subject/study opportunity? How did you find out about it?

I completed a two-week study tour for the unit Business Innovation in Europe. On the tour, we traveled through Dublin, Munich, Fribourg, Paris and London, visiting various businesses. We covered a range of industries from international brands like Google to smaller-scale startups I’d never heard of.

A friend doing the same course mentioned she was going to an information session for a study tour. I quickly looked up if I’d be interested, went along the next day to the information session and had put my application and deposit in the day after that. It all happened very quickly but there was no doubt I wanted to be on that tour!

Why did you decide to study overseas? What do you think the value is in taking up international study opportunities?

I’ve always wanted to travel overseas but thought I’d have to wait until I’d graduated to be able to afford it. Once I found out about the financial options available to students there was nothing holding me back.

The whole experience of travelling really challenges you on many levels – your comfort zone, confidence, communication skills, relationships and independence. Studying overseas is a great opportunity both personally and professionally. You come back having accelerated your course, created international industry connections and with a new desire to unlock your potential. It puts your whole degree into perspective and prepares you for future possibilities after university.

What were some of the highlights?

Having the opportunity to make the most of the trip overseas and extend my travel itinerary was pretty special. Before the tour started I got to visit some amazing places on my bucket list including Berlin, Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands.

On the tour, I was impressed with the number of private business visits we went on that were arranged by our Unit Director, John. His networking skills gave us behind-the-scenes guided tours and workshops with businesses that took time out of their working day to accommodate us.

Do you think you would have been able to study overseas without the support of a GAF scholarship?

Without the GAF scholarship, I wouldn’t have considered overseas travel until I had graduated and was working full-time. It’s given me the financial freedom and confidence to study overseas with the added bonus of personal travel too.

What’s coming up next for you?

Studying overseas helped me connect my passion and talents with the industry demand for jobs. I’ve now changed my design major from Communication Design to UX Design, which will focus on creating positive technological user experiences. I’m really excited to be studying this new opportunity in the design industry. During my final two years at uni I hope to inspire other students to undertake study abroad as a Student Ambassador and secure an internship to enhance my professional portfolio.