Meet Zahraa

2023 Hansen Scholar

Zahraa Hameed is studying a Bachelor of Biomedicine, majoring in Pharmacology. She shares the highlights of her experience so far, and offers advice for aspiring scholars.

Tell us about your experience studying at the University of Melbourne, and how being a Hansen Scholar has impacted you.

Studying at the University of Melbourne as a Hansen Scholar has been a rewarding and a transformative experience. Meeting likeminded, passionate and ambitious students as part of the Hansen Scholarship cohort as well as the wider University community has definitely been the highlight of the past few years.

The Melbourne curriculum has given me the opportunity to explore the different fields within the Bachelor of Biomedicine that I am passionate about and the opportunities I can pursue following my undergraduate degree. I am currently thoroughly enjoying my Pharmacology major, and I look forward to pursuing a career in the medical field or within biomedical research in the future.

Why did you apply for the Hansen Scholarship Program?

After reading about the Hansen Scholarship Program, I immediately realised the invaluable support and experience that would come alongside being a Hansen Scholar. Coming from a disadvantaged background, the Hansen Scholarship was an opportunity for me to access first-class tertiary education and make the most of my experience at university. I wanted to be part of a supportive community and form lasting friendships and professional connections.

Tell us about some of the events and opportunities you've been able to participate in as a Hansen Scholar.

It’s been a wonderful experience participating in the Hansen Scholarship Program. Having the opportunity to meet and mentor new cohorts of the program has been very rewarding and has given me the chance to share my own experiences with others. The casual BBQs and Culture Club events have enabled me to form close friendships with fellow scholars. Formal events such as award ceremonies have served as perfect opportunities for networking and meeting the donors of the program.

What have been the highlights of living at Little Hall residence?

Living at Little Hall has been very exciting. The Hall has been the perfect place to live in as its close proximity to campus meant I didn't have to commute to university. Being able to live with fellow scholars has meant that despite the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, I still had the opportunity to meet other students and form friendships. The large number of common areas and study spaces in the Hall have provided me with a space other than my room to study with others, which has been very helpful in enabling me to manage the workload of university.

What is one thing you didn’t expect to learn at university and/or what is the most challenging thing you’ve done at university so far?

The one thing that surprised me the most about university is the flexibility and freedom I had when it came to choosing majors and breadth subjects. I was able to take on subjects that helped me develop new skills, such as learning a new language.

The need to adapt to different modes of learning at university can be challenging, however with the appropriate support provided by the University and the Hall, it has been a smooth and a positive experience.

What advice do you have for other students considering applying to Melbourne and for the Hansen Scholarship?

I would highly recommend any eligible year 12 students to apply for the program. It has been a wonderful experience so far and I believe it would be quite difficult to get that level of support and the opportunity to meet so many amazing individuals anywhere else.