In his web profile, he simply calls himself ‘an Italian in Western Australia’, but Southern Cross University student, Francesco Vacca, holds an incredibly diverse background, and exciting future forward once he shortly completes his degree in Information Technology at SCU Perth.
There are many sides to this international student. Before his adventurous spirit brought him to Australia, he finished his Bachelor degree in Political Science in 2009 at Cagliari University, one of the oldest universities in Italy dating back to the 1600s. He then pursued his Master degree in International Relations at the same university and completed it in 2011. While pursuing his graduate degree, Francesco was among those chosen to participate in the European Erasmus Program for five months at Bucharest University in Romania.
Francesco grew up in Sardinia, a beautiful Italian island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. While attending university, he held various positions, volunteering first as a Summer Camp Instructor from June 2005 to September 2016, a tourist guide from June 2009 to October 2011 and engaging as a Scout Troop Leader from September 2008 to November 2016.
Francesco didn’t have it easy. Jobs in Italy were hard to come by and so when an opportunity to start a new life in Western Australia came along, he grabbed it with both hands.
Once in Australia, he started full-time work as a kitchen hand. He moved on to become a baker and finally took a position as a cook, which he still thoroughly enjoys. After being in the country for over two years, Francesco evaluated his new life and decided he will go back to university to obtain his Australian credentials. In November last year, he enrolled in a Bachelor in Information Technology degree program.
At SCU Perth, he has been learning web development and computer programming. He designed a software gaming program as part of a school project, commenting that whilst it still requires some improvements, he can already see ability to apply his classroom knowledge in the real world.
Skills, hobbies and interests
Francesco is also focusing on the development of his soft skills which he believes are a necessary tool upon graduation. He says he has gained a lot of experience in his volunteer work as a troop leader for over a decade, and is focusing on building his leadership and budget management skills.
“It taught me a lot about people and how to deal with them and motivate them to be part of a team,” he says. “I spent a lot of hours resolving conflicts by finding a middle ground and patching up quarrels,” he adds. Francesco knows how hard it is to bear that responsibility as a leader, but as he points out, “I also know how satisfactory it can be to guide your crew in achieving high results.”
Francesco juggles his time between working and studying but always enjoys finding time to read.“I especially love reading comic books, (Italian, Marvel-DC, Manga), history books, sci-fi, horror and fantasy novels.”
He also plays five musical instruments starting with his first love, guitar strumming. The other four instruments include the banjo, bass, mandolin and ukulele.
Future career in the IT field
After working for two years, Francesco felt he was ready for a new challenge. He says, “I remembered how much I enjoyed coding in the past, back in my old high school days, and I know that a degree in IT is highly regarded anywhere in the world. So, here I am!”
For now, Francesco wants to learn as much as he can about Information Technology. “I want to master several programming languages and to become an expert in web development, networking and database. I would also like to study cybersecurity in depth because I do really believe that it is going to be an important field of work in the next decade.”
For details about Southern Cross University’s degree programs, available scholarships, fees, IELTS and other requirements, students and education agents may check out the EduCo Course Finder. EduCo manages and administers degree programs for SCU’s three campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.