Ttobie is studying the Master of Sustainability at the University of Sydney
“I have just finished my first semester of a Masters at the University of Sydney and so far so good!
“I chose Sydney as I had visited it a number of times and really liked how different it was from my hometown of London! Sydney is quieter than London and does not have the same hustle and bustle, which for me is ideal. I’ve got all the city amenities plus a beach on my doorstep but don’t have to deal with squeezing past people on a crowded street or standing with my nose in someone’s armpit on the Tube!! Being a city girl this was my number one factor in choosing a university location but I also took into account the calibre of the university and the course content when making my decision.
“After deciding what city I would like to study in I then had to apply for a course. I toyed with the idea of applying myself and even started the application form, but then thought it would be safer to find out from the professionals if I was going about the whole process properly. After seeking the help of StudyOptions I became a lot less anxious about the way I was filling out my forms and had the added bonus was not having to send the original copies of all my very important paperwork to Australia – they looked after all that at their London office for me.
“Student life as a postgrad is a little different to my undergraduate experience. Although my course is full of people from all over the world unfortunately we do not really do anything social with one another beyond group work but there are lots of opportunities during O-Week (like Freshers Week) to meet new people and understand the landscape for postgrad students in Sydney.
“I absolutely love my course! It is so much better than I expected and the lecturers are all really keen on the subjects we discuss. Unlike my undergrad course there is a lot of group work, discussion and presentations that make up my overall grade. It is also very interesting having to let go of a European/UK centric mindset so that I can understand academic literature from an Australian then a worldwide view. Another big difference for me was the time that all my classes started. In semester 1 I have had only evening classes! This means classes, which start at 5 or 6pm and last till 7:30 or 8:30 pm. This time is okay for me – sometimes it does make socialising tricky but it means I can work during the day and go to uni in the evening.
“I am currently living in private student accommodation. It is not how I expected and I am looking into other options. I think living on campus or staying in a hostel before the semester starts would be a great idea and an easy and much faster way of making friends while in Australia. I have not joined any societies or clubs as my schedule kind of limits my free time however there is an obscene amount of clubs and societies on offer. I have found it very easy to settle into Sydney perhaps because I have been here before or because it is so similar to England.
“The biggest difference for me as a black British person has been the lack of people who look like me over here, also going grocery shopping can be really difficult as I am never sure I will like a brand and don’t want to spend the money on something I do not like. Sydney is also expensive!
“All in all I love it in Sydney, there are so many places to eat out and everyone is friendly. My advice would be to make sure you love the course on paper before you think about applying for it. Talk to people who have been to the city you want to study in to find out about inside information like the best place to find a full English! Join clubs in and out of university as well.”