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Tiago Siufi

Tiago Siufi

“Why I chose Sydney – and how you can too”

An ICMS post grad student’s journey from Brazil to Sydney

Tiago Siufi is in his second year of an ICMS Master of Management, and aims to complete his postgraduate degree next year (2021). Having already studied in his home country and established himself in his career as an engineer, Tiago was looking to improve his professional prospects and chose to study abroad, at ICMS, in order to achieve this.

While it is exciting to embark on a new adventure in a different country, it is not always straightforward or plain-sailing.

Tiago shared some of the challenges he experienced in choosing to study in Australia, and some of the amazing parts of the adventure he is sharing with his wife by his side.

Tiago Suifi shares what made him want to pursue his postgraduate studies in Australia?

(In 2009 Siufi completed a Mechatronics Engineering degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná, and then went on to study Project Management at FAE Centro Universitário, completing this post-graduate qualification in 2011.)

I am engineer and I worked for almost 10 years in Commercial and Marketing fields in Brazil. However, my experience was working as Product Engineer and Pricing/Commercial Analyst, and I wanted to study management to help me assume higher positions in my field, and to pursue leadership roles. I believed that undertaking a Masters degree abroad would help me to achieve this goal.

I did my research into postgraduate degrees offered in many developed countries. However, most of these countries do not allow students to work during the period of their studies, and this is something that is essential for almost 100% of Study Abroad students, due to the currency matters and so on.

Other than the advantage of being able to work while I studied, I chose Australia because of factors like the country’s solid economy, excellent job opportunities, the possibility of immigration in the future, the weather (which is pretty similar to Brazil), the chance to live in a well-structured city surrounded by the ocean, and of course, to study at ICMS that promised me a great future in the local market and to further my career.

Why did you choose Sydney as opposed to some other city?

I believe that Sydney is where I will find the best opportunities in my field. In Sydney, you can find a particular thing you won’t find anywhere else: you can have a relaxing and easy going life on the beach and at the same time, in 30 minutes, you are in a huge business centre, with offices of all the multinational companies and job opportunities for those who are seeking a place in the market. While I realise that competition in my job market would be tough, I still want to get into the competition.

And why did you choose ICMS?

I chose ICMS because the college offered the Master of Management which aligned with what I was looking for and also because at the end of the course, I would have the opportunity of doing industry training, giving me the chance of enter the job market even before I graduated.

(ICMS graduates, whether domestic or international, have this in common: they all graduate with industry experience and nine out of ten will graduate with a job in their field. This is thanks to work experience built into every degree or diploma, due to ICMS’ relationship with over 1000 industry partners; and thanks to the career-focused higher education institute’s 90% graduate employability rate [2018 Internal Graduate Survey].)

Did you find the fact that you are not first-language English-speaking a barrier or difficult to overcome?

In the beginning it is a bit complicated to adapt to different accents, mainly from fellow students who come from many different countries. But, with the time, I have become used to this. The Aussie accent could be a challenge when we first arrived in Australia, but it doesn’t have to remain a barrier. Being at ICMS has given me the opportunity of learning a lot of new expressions and slang, which I enjoy learning.

How easy was it for you to get a Visa? How was the process?

It was easy in general, but I had to spend a lot of time organising heap of documents, as well as writing some letters saying why I would like to study in Australia, how it would help in my career, what were my plans after finishing the studies, and so on. The government was just making sure I was coming to Australia with the purpose of studying only and come back to Brazil after that. I also had to prove that I would be financially able to be able to sustain myself while staying in the country for the period of studies.

Did your partner come with you to Australia and how easy was it for her to get a Visa?

We got married only six months before applying for the Visa, even though we had been together for six years, so we had to create documents showing the authenticity of our relationship. We had to send a letter talking about our history, photos from Facebook, Instagram, and so on.

When you arrived in Sydney what was your first impression?

I already knew the city, and I remember seeing people having fun and enjoying a great quality of life in Sydney. I knew I was in an amazing city, but at the same time I was so worried about having potentially made the biggest mistake of my life. Before coming to Australia, my wife and I had great lives in Brazil, and we left everything behind, finding ourselves with no jobs, in a high cost of living city, and living in a shared and old apartment. It was hard in the beginning as we were alone in a country where we were nobody. That sensation of starting everything from nothing was really hard, especially when we had to start working in many different jobs just to pay the bills.

What do you enjoy about life in Sydney and at ICMS in particular?

I love sports, and Sydney is an amazing city for taking part in outdoor activities. I am passionate about surfing and here we have good waves. I like running and, apart from the hills, I can run across beautiful landscapes. There is a good transport system, and good weather. At ICMS in particular, we study in an amazing campus, with great infrastructure, good lecturers, and helpful and friendly staff. Actually, ICMS is located in my favourite suburb in the whole of Sydney.

(ICMS students can choose between the gorgeous natural setting of the main ICMS campus located in Northern Beaches, Sydney, NSW, or attend specified undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the state-of-the-art ICMS City Campus located in the heart of Sydney, Australia’s financial capital.)

What did you (or do you) find challenging?

Adapting to the student life again and not being able to find a job in my field due to Visa restrictions and not being allowed to work full-time.

Do you hope to stay in Australia and use your rights to the 2 year post-study visa?

I don’t know yet. It will depend on the opportunities that I will have here or in Brazil after the end of this semester, when I will get into the industry training period.

What advice do you have for anyone considering coming to Sydney for postgraduate study?

I would advise them to evaluate really well if they are willing to make the effort to study here. Life in Sydney is not only surf and fun. The better your English, the better will be the job opportunities. However, a restriction of working hours can also limit you in finding a job in your field, so be prepared and willing to work in anything.

  • The International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) is an award-winning higher education institution with campuses in Manly and Sydney’s business district. Founded in 1996, ICMS is a leader in career-focused, quality education and offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses which include bachelors and masters degrees.  

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