My name is Hiromi Takahashi and I am studying for a Master of Sexology at Curtin University. I arrived in Perth in February 2019 from my hometown of Osaka in Japan.
I knew I wanted to study human sexual health and human rights, and from my research, Curtin University, the University of Amsterdam and Brighton University were on my list of universities to approach. Coincidentally, I had made a friend when I was in Osaka and she knew someone who had graduated with a Master of Sexology at Curtin University. We were introduced to each other online, and she recommended coming to Perth to study because it is such a lovely city. That's how I decided to study in Perth.
There are so many things I love about in Perth. Firstly, I love the weather; when I was studying in the UK, it was mostly raining and cloudy. When you have a sunny day, you get cheerful no matter what. I also like that the beaches are nearby so you can easily go for a walk on the beach, which is super relaxing. I live in Fremantle Area which is very close to the beach and the Fremantle Markets. When I get tired of studying at home, I go for a walk to the beach or to a cute café for a coffee. To be able to do this is just great.
In my spare time, I also enjoy dancing. I have been dancing the lindy hop for nearly two years, and I have joined a performance team in Perth with the Swing Dance Academy. We will perform in many summer festivals this year, including at Fringe Festival which is really exciting.
I study Sexology which is not a common study choice. I chose it because I am passionate about sexual health education. The course is very practical as well as academic. We have had opportunities to run sexual education workshops during the class, which also encouraged me to do so outside of the course as well. I think Perth is a great place in which to study this course, as it has many sexual health related organisations such as Sexual Health Quarters and WA AIDS Council.
It is really enjoyable to study at Curtin University’s Bentley Campus. There are so many places that you can enjoy outside. When it's sunny, you can get a free beanbag and sit under the tree and study or listen to your favourite music. The campus has so many trees, bushes, flowers and grassed areas where you can sit and eat or chat with friends.
When I graduate, I would love to stay Perth and work here as a freelance sexual health educator for international students. So, working and collaborating with language schools, colleges and universities would be great way to achieve this. I will apply for a graduate visa which will allow me to stay an extra 18 months after my graduation, and I will go from there.
My top tips for students looking to study in Perth is that you should find what you are passionate about and focus on that. And talk to many people from different cultural backgrounds to challenge your assumptions and common sense.