It was the perfect combination of timing, opportunity and support that led Freya to the Master of Applied Linguistics at the University of Newcastle. Originally working in Australia in copywriting, Freya needed a change – and with a passion for teaching, she grabbed her passport and booked a flight to South Korea to work as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher.
“I moved to South Korea in 2016 and my first teaching job was at a public global education centre in Daegu. I also had the opportunity to teach English conversation classes for other teachers and local groups which I absolutely loved, and I started thinking about how I could continue this as a long-term career,” said Freya.
With a drive to improve her skills and knowledge around language and enhance her career opportunities both in South Korea and Australia, she enrolled in the Master of Applied Linguistics.
“I researched a few different universities in Australia however, as I currently live overseas, I needed to study with a university that could fit my lifestyle and circumstances.
“The admissions staff at the University of Newcastle truly helped me feel confident that I could complete my degree entirely online, anywhere in the world.”
It was always going to take planning and commitment to stay on top of her studies while working and living in a different country, but Freya always felt supported by the University and her employers throughout her postgraduate degree.
“I believe that open and frequent communication is key to juggling study and work. I let my workplace know early on that I was pursuing further study and they were very supportive of that fact.
“Similarly, I made sure to always communicate with my lecturers and course coordinators if I felt that I needed extra time or support regarding certain assignments, due to my workplace commitments.”
Reflecting on what she gained during her studies, Freya commented on how the Master of Applied Linguistics has helped her achieve her career goals, while the online delivery has allowed her to implement new theories and practices in real-time.
“I’ve gained so much from the program, including a newfound confidence from having to really push myself academically. Beyond becoming a more effective teacher in the classroom, I also have an understanding of the theories behind language acquisition, which I didn’t have before I started the program.
“I really felt that studying and working at the same time was ideal for me, as I was able to gain new ideas and immediately apply them to the classroom. I could also reflect upon my practical experiences as I completed my assignments.”
And even while living on the other side of the world, Freya felt connected to the University at all times.
“When I’d first started the course, I was apprehensive about feeling less engaged by studying online, but this wasn’t the case at all. The friendliness and approachability of the lecturers and staff was amazing and helped me feel connected even while living so far away.”
Freya Dougan-Whaite completed a Master of Applied Linguistics at the University of Newcastle.
The admissions staff at the University of Newcastle truly helped me feel confident that I could complete my degree entirely online, anywhere in the world.