After making an international move to Brisbane in early 2020, one student decided to turn her credentials as a dance teacher into a different career 

Saskia Wright was born and raised in Pretoria in South Africa. After a recent move to Brisbane, she combined her previous dance credentials with a love of working with people and took up study in Occupational Therapy with Griffith University.  

“I love working with people and I want to create opportunities for other people so that they can live their lives to the fullest. My goal is to combine my dance teacher qualification with occupational therapy and pass that passion to other people,” she says. 

“People traditionally think of “occupations” as the things we do every day, our jobs, but it’s so much more than that, it’s not just the physical act, it’s how we use it to overcome other physical or mental challenges.  

“My occupational therapy is dance – it brings joy to my life, and through my studies I am developing a deep understanding of the strong feelings (like joy) that people connect to occupations.” 

Having only just moved to Australia when she enrolled, Saskia says her decision to study was one she was at first unsure of, however the decision was made easier when she found Griffith.  

“Griffith has so many opportunities for new, young students like me,” she says.  

“All of the people working at Griffith – my lecturers, my tutors, the team at student services – they have been extremely helpful and made me feel really welcome.  

“That’s not something I expected coming from a different country, so I’ve been pleasantly surprised.” 

As a first-year student, Saskia is already on her way to overcoming some of the challenges presented by studying in a foreign country.  

“The most challenging aspect for me was adapting to a different language of studying – I can speak English fluently, but what I’m referring to is the different speech structures used to express terms I may not have heard previously,” she says.  

“I overcame this by seeking help, but also by realising that every first-year student has their own difficulties and challenges – that made me feel less alone. 

“I created an environment that works for me, that keeps me motivated, and so far it’s working! 

“It’s all about staying positive and connected – that’s my advice to others: to work hard, study hard, and be positive as you achieve your goal.” 

If like Saskia you’d like to use your passion for movement to build a career in healthcare, you can start your journey with a Bachelor of Occupation Therapy