A Charles Sturt University paramedicine student’s first job is a long way from home – she is swapping big waves for big boots, travelling to the United States to gain experience in Texas as the first step in furthering her medical career.
The harsh terrain of Texas in the United States is a long way from the coastal living that Charles Sturt University student Ms Grace Madden is used to.
Born in Bathurst but raised in South West Rocks, NSW, Grace attended Charles Sturt in Port Macquarie because it was close to home and to the beach.
“When I visited the campus, I absolutely loved it, everyone was very friendly,” she said.
Grace is a third-year Bachelor of Paramedicine (Integrated Honours) student in the Charles Sturt School of Nursing, Paramedicine and Healthcare Sciences and has already secured her first job to commence after her graduation.
A subject coordinator emailed her cohort, detailing an opportunity to be involved in the Aussie Medic Hiring Program by the Acadian Ambulance Service.
Grace secured an interview via Zoom and was immediately informed she had been successful in obtaining a spot in the program.
“There are many Aussie paramedic programs all over the world. I also applied for a job in London, however, the USA caught my attention, and I knew that's what I wanted to do,” she said.
Grace has the option of working in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi or Tennessee but is so far favouring San Antonio in Texas.
“San Antonio is a major city of the south-central state of Texas and it holds rich colonial heritage, highlighting this city as one of the top options for me,” she said.
Her family is proud of her and is thrilled they have a place to stay for future visits to the United States, although Grace said they have expressed sadness for when she leaves in May 2023.
She is thankful to Charles Sturt for offering students the opportunity to study and gain practical experience abroad.
“From the get-go at Charles Sturt University, we were told of the awesome experiences and job opportunities worldwide that came with paramedicine so I was very much aware that this was an option,” she said.
“However, for me, I did not think that this would be something I would do ... but I am so glad I did.
“I couldn't be more excited and proud of myself for securing a job before even graduating.”
The job is for two years, with the program covering the costs of Grace’s VISA, flights, first eight months accommodation and meals.
She intends to gain as much experience and knowledge as possible before returning home to continue to pursue her medical goals.
“I want to study medicine as I want to help people and continue to make a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
“Once the two years are up, I am hoping to come back to Australia and work in regional NSW as a paramedic. My long-term career goal is to become a doctor or surgeon later in life.”
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