Remote learning has proven no obstacle for Lavanya Bachwal, who commenced her studies at Bond University remotely from India this year.
Studying abroad from her home in Mumbai hasn’t been a simple feat, but Lavanya is adamant that her Bond experience is still as all-encompassing and comprehensive as it would be if she were on campus. In her very first semester, while studying remotely, Lavanya made the Vice Chancellor’s list for academic excellence in an incredible achievement. As of May, Lavanya is pursuing the Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice.
The practical elements of a degree in science might seem difficult to convey over a computer screen, but thankfully, a team of dedicated lecturers and a focus on optimal multi-modal learning means that Lavanya is able to access everything that her on-campus peers can.
“The University has made sure remote students don’t miss out on anything, be it lectures, practical lab sessions or social engagements, despite not being onshore,” Lavanya says.
“Bond’s teaching is very application-oriented, with theory alongside practical work and an industry focus. This is fantastic as it enables students within a specific degree to be more prepared for the relevant workforce when they graduate.”
Lavanya came to Bond after spending more than ten years in the field of nutrition and dietetics. Her career has spanned far and wide, with positions as a clinical nutritionist, research scholar and dietary consultant. She’s presented her work at conferences around the world, and established a sparkling reputation as a nutritionist and dietician in India.
The motivation to study again comes from Lavanya’s desire to keep up with the global nutrition and dietetics industry and ultimately, stay at the forefront of her field. She sees studying in Australia as an opportunity to relate to people across a wider range of cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds, and a way to better understand the nutrition and dietetics landscape from a global perspective.
So, why choose to restart your studies from halfway across the world via remote learning? Lavanya cites Bond’s commitment to a personalised university experience as a huge factor behind her decision.
“I chose Bond for a few reasons, with the first being its low student-to-teacher ratio and the opportunity this creates for personal interactions with professors. Bond also takes a student-centric approach and offers application-oriented programs. And the state-of-the-art teaching facilities are definitely a plus!” she says.
She also encourages her peers learning remotely to never shy away from asking for help.
“Teachers at Bond are extremely approachable, so never think twice about emailing them with any issues you’re facing or problem areas,” Lavanya says.
One thing that’s improved Lavanya’s study experience tenfold is unimpeded access to Bond’s support services. After the pandemic’s onset, campus services like the Academic Skills Centre restructured their offerings, with virtual consultations made available, and altered their hours to cater to remote students across various time zones.
“I want to give a special mention to the Academic Skills Centre, where students can seek help with their academic writing skills, amongst many other things. It’s so helpful to have someone on your side who can guide you effectively through processes like report writing.”
Lavanya is excited about practicing dietetics upon completion of her degree, which will be sooner rather than later.
“What sets Bond University apart is the accelerated degree structure. I will get my master’s a year earlier than my peers at other universities, which will in turn give me a competitive edge when entering the industry.”
“I want to gain as much experience as I can from learning in Australia. In five years’ time, I see myself working as a chief dietitian in a multi-speciality hospital in India, or taking up a government position related to policy advice, communication, food regulation or public health.”
When asked to give some advice for prospective and future Bondies, Lavanya lays bare some truths.
“I’d tell future Bondies to pull up their socks from day one! Study hard, as time flies here and when they say ‘accelerated’, they mean it. You have to always be on your toes to make sure you complete all the required work in time while studying for exams. Before you know it, midsems (and then final exams!) will be knocking at your door!”
“Oh, and remote learners – make sure you have high speed internet…” she jokes.
Of course, even with other aspects of the university experience under control, the idea of creating a community and making friends that defy time zones and locations is daunting. Ultimately, though, Lavanya’s experience mirrors most Bondies’, whether they’re studying on campus or remote.
“Bond is a place where students can develop their skills ready for the workforce, but also make amazing connections with their community, including peers and professors,” she says.
“The people I have met at Bond have become like my ‘family away from family’.”
Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice
Take the step toward a healthier future with a Master of Nutrition and Dietetic Practice from Bond University.