Anahy Wilde Dos Santos packed up her life in Brazil and moved to Brisbane to study at Griffith after participating in a free, massive online open course (MOOC) offered by the University.

Anahy, a medical doctor who specialises in sports medicine, wanted to take her career into health administration and used FutureLearn MOOCs to scope out different universities.

Future-proofing the Health Workforce is the course that inspired Anahy to move to Australia. It was just one of many she took over several years.

“I searched for Griffith University (on FutureLearn) and saw this course that was perfect for me, and it was taught by staff from the Master of Health Services Management,” she said. “It gave me a taste of what I could expect of the Masters degree.”

She was impressed by the quality of the MOOC, and she liked the approach of the convenors who delivered it.

“The methods of engagements were warm, friendly and supportive,” Anahy said.

“Doing the course was a defining moment for me; it was a big incentive for me to come to Griffith.”

Today, Anahy is in her first year of the Master of Health Services Management, based at Griffith’s South Bank campus.

Richard Olley and Sheree Lloyd teach in the program and also deliver Future-proofing the Health Workforce. They were impressed when Anahy approached them in the classroom and said she knew them from the MOOC.

“Anahy has brought home to us the huge reach and subsequent benefits for University reputation these online courses can have; to see that our MOOC was the inspiration for an international student to come and study on-campus at Griffith is fantastic,” Sheree said.

Richard added that he is delighted that Future-Proofing the Health Workforce has been so valued that it has attracted students like Anahy in the Master’s program.

“What was designed as a learning opportunity has attracted someone to undertake further education in Australia, which is such a long way from Anahy’s country of birth, and where the degree is delivered in a language that is not her first language,” Richard said.

“It is an enormous step in anyone’s life and a real testament to her drive and passion for learning.”

Anahy, a prolific user of learning platforms, believes more people should use MOOCs, as they are a free to use and an invaluable way to learn more about the world. She did three courses from Griffith alone, including Music psychology: Why does Bohemian Rhapsody feel so good?

“A person should be interested in acquiring knowledge,” she said. “That is why I gave up everything that I had reached in my life — ten years of my career — to come here, because I love learning and I love being challenged by things I don’t know.”

Anahy wants to apply her knowledge in a way that makes a difference in society.

“I studied medicine because I always had a vision of helping people, and I was extremely fulfilled in my career. But, for me, what makes sense for me is to mix this desire for helping people with my constant desire to learn,” she said.

“I intend to apply the knowledge that I already have, and the knowledge I acquire, to help society to do great things to help people improve peoples’ lives and the health of populations.”