Studying at university should be exciting, filled with new experiences and the start of a journey towards your chosen career. If you’ve ever heard the following myths about university study, read on as we debunk them one by one.
University study is impersonal
You might be on the stage alone come graduation day, but you’ll need a lot of support during the course of your studies. It’s normal to become overwhelmed by assessments or find that the course you have chosen is too difficult. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to turn to your classmates or lecturers for help. If you’re planning to take on a challenging subject, talk to peers who have completed it in a previous semester. Most unis in Australia also have facilities to support your academic journey, including specialised learning centres where you will have access to tutors who will be able to help you with assignments.
Extracurricular activities should stay on campus
Uni is just like real life — you make choices, meet new friends and gain plenty of valuable experience. This is why you should aim to get more out of your extracurricular experience, looking for opportunities off campus. Programs like community outreach work and student enterprise are increasingly popular among international students. You not only develop the work-related skills you need for the future, but also build your network outside of your campus.
You can’t balance work and study
Did you know that international students can work up to 40 hours per fortnight in Australia? If you decide to work part time, rest assured that there are ways to balance your priorities. Start by setting some academic and career goals, and seeking out a job that you will enjoy (there’s nothing worse than dreading the start of a working day!). Working while studying is a big responsibility, so you have to know your limits. Although you will be restricted in the hours you can work, you should ensure that you have time to juggle study and other priorities, such as friends and keeping up to date with family back home. If you are struggling with the balance, remember that you can get support from your institution.
First semester is the time to relax
It can also be the perfect time for you to plan ahead. This is your opportunity to find out if you have to take compulsory subjects or any preparatory courses (and get them done and over with) and how your course will progress as the years go on. Explore interesting extracurricular activities around campus that can help you develop new skills and look for opportunities such as volunteering or work experience in your field.
Your background restricts you from fitting in
Australia is a secular, multicultural and accepting country, so there’s no need to worry about your religion, race or sexual orientation. Universities are committed to embracing racial and cultural diversity — many even make this a key priority. This is because a broad, wide-ranging student population provides different perspectives that encourage academic dialogue and stimulate a global competitive environment. Universities in Australia, in particular, are LGBTI-friendly and support students from different faiths.