Himalayas tour guide to the Fraser Coast nursing student
JAY Lama never thought he would leave the Himalayan mountains for the Fraser Coast.
But following his heart has taken the former mountain bike guide from riding among the highest peaks in the world to studying nursing at Fraser Coast campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast.
All because Mr Lama fell in love.
"Most Nepalese students travel abroad for further studies or better life opportunities but I had a different reason - I simply fell in love and married a girl who had come to Australia to pursue further education,” Mr Lama said.
"When we met, Diki had already finished her studies and was working as a registered nurse in Bundaberg.”
The adventure-seeker led high altitude rides in the Himalayas and tours along ancient trade routes of Kathmandu Valley.
"Knowing my job in Nepal was not going to be much help when I moved to Australia, I completed a Certificate III in Aged Care and gained a job in a Bundaberg nursing home,” he said.
Mr Lama ended up also finding a new passion.
"I discovered that I loved nursing and caring for people as a profession so enrolled in a Nursing degree,” he said.
"I still ride my mountain bike as a hobby but consider nursing a much more satisfying and rewarding pathway to follow.”
The second-year Bachelor of Nursing Science student commutes two-hours each way from Bundaberg to study at USC's Fraser Coast campus.
"Friends from Nepal who study at USC highly recommended its Nursing Science degree and the quality of teaching at USC Fraser Coast,” he said.
"I am absolutely glad to be here. I like the atmosphere and am impressed by the support networks for international students and the professional guidance from the lecturers.
"I find Australians very welcoming, kind, friendly and supportive people.”
USC Fraser Coast is growing in popularity with more than 10 international students enrolled this semester.