Don’t Hesitate, Come Study

Tong (Warner) Wu from China. Studying as a PhD candidate researching in sustainable tourism at JCU (James Cook University), Townsville Campus

I believe it is my destiny to study in Townsville, despite the fact that it is not a large city like the capital cities of Australia capable of attracting me on my first visit in 2020. But the people I have met are all friendly and generous, like my wonderful supervisors at JCU, Professor Gianna Moscardo, and Associate Professor Laurie Murphy, who not only accepted my Ph.D. application but also opened the door for myself and my family members to travel outside of China, which I am thankful for. Also, Townsville provides a great and unique opportunity for my family, including my daughter Huanzi (Lydia) Wu. She accompanied me here, and has developed her skills unbelievably quickly at Pimlico State High School in the past few months, going from hardly catching up with the class to getting As in most of the subjects in the third term. We have participated in most of the interesting and exciting activities provided by the Study Townsville Student Ambassador program, such as whale watching,  Charters Towers tours, learning Italian food cooking, and so on. And I also discovered some delightful relaxing activities, like sitting on the Strand beach or jogging on Castle Hill while watching the sunset. These are all my highlights from my time in Townsville so far.  

I am hopeful to gain work experience in the future with Townsville employers so through this opportunity I can contribute to Townsville. Whilst not working during my study I decided to concentrate on studying for my PhD. In my research, I am exploring how “mindfulness applied in sustainable tourism” can be used to enhance the travel experience of tourists visiting a destination, and this theory has been tested successfully on Chinese tourists now. And, with mindful travel, the tourists will make future trips to Australia or Townsville more memorable.

My studying stories shared on my Chinese “Wechat” social media occasionally drew a lot of applause and further curiosities such as “is it really?”, “how can I achieve it ?” and “when will be the most appropriate time for my child to study in Australia?” The most frequent advice given to them is “Don’t hesitate, come outside to study as soon as possible, not only for you, but for the future life of your child.” Everyone here could help you get involved in the local community or with your school’s or university’s international department. Don’t worry, Study Townsville is your big family. Overall, I am really enjoying my life in Townsville and am really grateful for all the precious experiences.  

December 2022