First year dental student, Laura Hunter, is the grateful recipient of the 2018 A-dec University of Sydney scholarship to assist her with her dental studies.
Laura impressed the University of Sydney in an earlier position working as an Alzheimer's researcher and was delighted when her application to study dentistry in Sydney was accepted.
Having previously studied Microbiology and Immunology to Honours level at the University of Otago in New Zealand, Laura came to Australia looking for a warmer climate, as Otago is the only university in NZ offering a dental degree.
Although she commenced studying a different area of medicine, given her family background, Laura was probably always destined to end up in the dentistry.
"My thoughts for the future are definitely leaning towards specialising at some point as both my parents are specialists, one in prosthodontics and the other in orthodontics. I guess that would have to be a huge influencing factor on why I chose an oral health profession.
"My parents are a great source of advice, however it is very apparent that the industry is a lot different from when they were carving their path in the dental world. I'm excited to see where the latest changes and improvements in technology will be taking us," Laura said.
Laura said the $10,000 A-dec scholarship had been a huge help in being able to live as a student in one of the most unaffordable cities in the world. "I am from a large family and not being able to get a student loan while studying in Australia has definitely made it harder than if I was living back home, so the scholarship has really helped me survive, which I am very grateful for."
Laura said she was greatly enjoying campus life at the University while studying her degree: "What interests me the most about studying at Sydney Uni is the variety of people who make up my dental class. With over half of the class being Canadian, it's definitely a great mix of people and cultures and I can see how quickly a class can become a surrogate family."
As she progresses through her degree, Laura is looking forward to spending time in one of the Sydney teaching clinics working with A-dec equipment which she is already familiar with because of her family involvement in dentistry.
Outside of studying dentistry, Laura fills her time with as many sports as she can manage and is hopeful of trialling for a representative netball team if she can strike the balance between studying and training.
"I would really like to thank Sydney University and A-dec for this scholarship. I am very humbled and grateful to have received it and hope I can pay it forward one day when I am in the position to do so," Laura said.