Turkey to Sydney: What’s it like as an international student?


Meet Serhat, an international student from Turkey taking his Masters of Advanced Design at Billy Blue College Design in Sydney Australia.

Serhat Karakas is an international student from Turkey. In 2017, Serhat began a Master of Design (Advanced) at Billy Blue College of Design, a Torrens University Australia institution.

We sat down with Serhat to find out a bit more about his experience living and studying in Sydney and where he plans to take his career.

Tell us a bit about your background and where you are originally from.

I was born in Turkey and raised in various cities across the country. This quickly taught me how to adapt to different cultures, environments and ideas.

During high school, my family finally settled in Bursa, where I have spent the last half of my life. Here I discovered a love for the arts. This inspiration drove me to attend an art college, where I focused my skill-set development on ceramics, photography and music.

Why did you choose to study with Torrens University Australia?

My brother was enrolled in a university that is affiliated with the Laureate Network in Turkey. At the time I was working in Australia, so when he referred me to Torrens University I decided to visit the campus at Ultimo and meet with faculty members.

After meeting with faculty members, I was struck by how friendly they were. I immediately felt welcomed into their community. In addition, the program included key elements that are crucial in developing managerial skills with industry leaders.

Lastly, the most important element that drew me to Torrens University, was that the program promised to provide the latest design theories, practices and innovations while applying our skills to real-world problems.


What has been the highlight of studying at Torrens so far?

The academic schedule has flexibility, allowing students to create a balance between work, school and socialising.

The program motivated and encouraged me to develop technological business ideas. The managerial skills that I have learned through the program have given me the confidence to move forward with these ideas.

What was it like leaving home and moving to Australia to study?

Prior to attending Torrens University, I had already lived in Australia for a year. So, it was not hard to leave home and adapt to Australia for study. However, during the initial first three months of living in Australia, I felt myself to be more of an observer than actively involved in the lifestyle. 


What did you like most about living and studying in Australia?

Being exposed to a variety of artistic cultures that freely permeate Sydney was, for me, the most appealing aspect of living in Australia.

I enjoyed the abundance of wildlife and natural environments immediately surrounding the city. I also found that the Australian people were friendly and open to engaging with me about my design research and studies.

How has your time at Torrens prepared you for a career?

As mentioned earlier, the program encouraged me to develop my technological business ideas. Also, the managerial skills that I have learned through the program have given me the confidence to move forward with my business ideas and plan.


What do you hope to do after you graduate?

I would like to travel to different parts of Australia to further explore the available options for my career. I also plan to apply everything that I have learned from my education towards developing my own business in Australia.

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