Cassandra Chan Is Making Difference To Young Lives

Australian Catholic University

Cassandra thought her master’s degree would be a stressful experience. ACU showed her another side of postgraduate study.

You’re originally from Hong Kong and you completed high school in the UK. What made you decide to enrol in a Master of Psychology (Educational and Developmental) in Australia?

I always knew in my heart that I wanted to do psychology. It’s something I’m passionate about. I considered quite a few universities across the world and I discovered that Australia has the longest pathway in terms of training to become a psychologist. That’s something I value – I want to get sufficient training to be competent in what I do. Even though it might take a little bit longer, I think it’ll be worth it.

photo of Cassandra Chan and familyWhat makes you so passionate about psychology?

There was a friend of mine who really needed psychological support when I was younger, but I didn’t know how to help her. I didn’t really understand the concept of depression or anxiety. During my high school studies, I picked psychology to find out what it was like and then during my undergraduate degree, I discovered educational psychology, which is often focused on children. I love working with children, so being able to make a positive difference in the next generation is something I’m proudly doing.

There are lots of universities offering postgraduate psychology. What made ACU stand out?

When it comes to the Master of Psychology, some students look for a course that’s more research based, while others prefer something more practical. ACU has an equal balance of both research and the practical skills you need to be an effective psychologist. That balance is really important for me.

You noticed a difference between undergraduate and postgraduate psychology study. What can you tell us about that?

Psychology can be a very competitive field. For my whole undergraduate degree, all the students saw each other as competitors because everyone was so focused, so dedicated to getting into a great graduate school. I was really surprised to find that jumping into the master’s at ACU was a very different experience. Everyone was so supportive, so welcoming. Academically, I’m doing more practical work, more reflections, which we don’t get to do in undergrad. The transition has been smooth.

Can you share more about that support? How has ACU helped you to thrive?

ACU offers a lot of support to students – they’re so patient with my stupid questions! It’s something I’m really grateful for. My favourite thing is the postgraduate room, which is like a study space for postgraduate psychology students at ACU. It’s really important in my field to communicate with peers and get their thoughts and feedback. That’s how I found my own community. ACU offers that location, that program and that community support for students and international students.

ACU is home to Australia’s top-ranking psychology researchers and was ranked #7 among the world’s most productive educational psychology institutions. Choose a postgraduate psychology degree that’s shaped by academic excellence when you apply to study at ACU – talk to our international student support team

/Public Release. View in full here.