It has finally been a month plus since I started Uni ( aka University, as they call it here), and I have so much to tell you! Being a student at University of Sydney has definitely been a promising experience. Since I am an educational studies major, I am taking 3 education courses, and one internship course. Being involved with an internship is an excellent idea because it provides you with an opportunity to be in an environment related to your field of interest. I intern with the Sydney Story Factory, which is a non-profit organization that helps students write creative stories in order to spark a creative outlet for students, in addition to their daily learning at school. Through this internship, I have not only met incredible people who love children, but also have been inspired by the students themselves in providing such creative stories to share with the world.
So, back to more stuff about Uni. University of Sydney is actually a whole lot bigger than you might think, it is Hogwarts in some sense. I am in a couple of societies, which are extra-curricular organizations that meet after hours. I am currently involved in Surcas, where I learn interesting circus tricks. I am also in a choir, an educational studies revue, and part of the volunteer organization. I HIGHLY recommend that you join societies, not only as a way to meet and interact with locals, but also to enhance your own experience of being a part of USYD.
One big surprise that I encountered during my first couple of days was the grading system. It is not like back home. Here, it’s divided into different categories according to your percentage, and then IFSA-Butler converts those numbers into a letter grade. It’s also important to note that you are not graded often, and one or two assignments may make up your entire grade for the semester. Thus, it’s important to keep up with class notes, attend lectures and tutorials regularly, and to review your notes to make sure you understand and comprehend the material well. It’s embarrassing to mention, but at first, I had such a difficult time understanding the accent of some of my professors, which put me behind my peers.
One thing I will say though is that Fiona, the IFSA-Butler coordinator is super helpful! She’s my coordinator for USYD, and students at every uni have a IFSA-Butler coordinator that is your go-to-person for literally everything. The program also provides all the students with many aides and advice to help with adjusting to Uni, grading systems, and everything else. PLEASE ASK THEM FOR HELP. THEY REALLY DO WANT TO HELP YOU!
In all, I absolutely adore my classes, have made some incredible local and international friends, and have joined super societies that have really helped me integrate well into the USYD system.