Making the move from his home country of Kuwait to study a Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) at the University of Newcastle was just the first step in Tarek’s journey to build a better, more sustainable world.
Since he began studying, Tarek has not only gained valuable knowledge of the built environment – he’s developed practical skills through real-world experience in the construction industry, and made lifelong friends along the way.
“The University of Newcastle has changed my life.
“I have learnt so much. My degree has challenged me to understand more about the built environment. What really interests me is understanding how high-rise structures get built and how they affect the environment,” said Tarek.
As part of his degree, Tarek had the chance to test his knowledge and expand his skillset through a 16-week industrial work experience placement.
“I had the opportunity to work as Project Manager, Construction Manager, Estimator, Surveyor, Health and Safety Officer. I really enjoyed going on to site and actually experiencing how things get done because it is different from learning about it in classes.
“The industrial experience has really helped me in understanding how the built environment works. And learning from peers and seniors in the company was a very rich experience,” he said.
Passionate about sustainability, Tarek chose to focus his final year project on empowering Indigenous communities through culturally-sensitive design.
“I decided to create and work on a project I felt could make a change in people’s lives in Australia. My project was titled Exploring Suitable Aboriginal Homes Using Virtual Reality Technology and aimed to empower Aboriginal peoples to create their own culturally sensitive home,” he said.
As for university life, Tarek says it’s been the perfect blend of city life and a more relaxed pace of living.
“I really enjoy living in Newcastle because it is not too loud like a big city, but the perfect balance to study and enjoy the beach whenever you feel like it.
“And I really enjoyed how social the University is and how everyone gets involved. It allows you to meet many different people from different part of the world,” he said.
Looking to the future, Tarek hopes to head to London to continue his studies with a Masters degree in Environmental Engineering and Design.
“From there, my major goal is to have an engineering/architectural business in which I can make my home country a sustainable place to live,” he said.
Tarek Al Helou
Tarek moved from his home country of Kuwait to study a Bachelor of Construction Management (Honours) at the University of Newcastle.
I really enjoy living in Newcastle because it is not too loud like a big city, but the perfect balance to study and enjoy the beach whenever you feel like it.