It is no surprise Australia is one of the most popular destinations to study abroad.
With beach excursions at your doorstep and a thriving culture, Australia is an island of paradise.
Sydney’s University of New South Wales (UNSW) in particular is a popular destination for students in South-East Asia, including Singapore. Singaporean students created an association of their own, the Singapore Students’ Association (SSA).
With over 1,000 students who joined the society since it was first formed, students of SSA help each other to familiarise with the university, Sydney, and Australia as a whole.
Yee Hong Ho
Like many other international students, Yee Hong admits that he had trouble deciphering the strong Aussie accents when he first arrived.
He also describes that the first impression of UNSW left him awestruck.
“I was surprised by how outspoken the students are here, having free discussions with lecturers.
And I really like how the classes were structured – Giving a week to go over the lecture before going through the materials in the tutorial.”
Yee Hong joined the SSA when he first arrived, enjoying various activities with fellow students, Singaporean and non Singaporean alike.
“The Inter-Varsity Games is a sporting event held for Singaporean uni students. It’s something I definitely look forward to every year.”
The 25-year-old plans to travel to Brisbane during his break and muster up the courage to try out the famous skydive before finishing his degree.
Having one last semester to complete before receiving his degree, Yee Hong also plans to go back to Singapore, seeking opportunities to become an IT engineer or enter the world of e-commerce business.
Actuarial study is considered as one of the most challenging courses in Australian universities.
Before studying at UNSW, Christina completed an actuary-related diploma in Singapore.
She decided to come to Sydney because compared to US or UK, Australia is closer and more affordable.
Plus, Christina was familiar with the UNSW brand, being one of the most reputable universities in Australia.
“A lot of people in Singapore know about UNSW.
And it’s few of many universities that offer actuary studies as a bachelor of its own in Australia.”
Christina lived on campus during her uni years making it much easier for her to commute in between her lectures, especially during exam periods.
Christina says she loves Aussies’ laid-back attitudes, contributing to a sense of relaxation.
“People are constantly under pressure back at home.
They’re forced to compete with one another but it doesn’t work that way here.”
However, she feels that Singaporean and Aussie cultures have one thing in common, diversity.
“I didn’t miss home as much because Sydney is so diverse, with people from various countries.
Even at uni, classes are mixed with people from different countries.”
The 24-year-old is also a dedicated member of the SSA. A sport enthusiast, she was in the committee as a sports director last year and is now the vice president of the student association.
Completing her Bachelor of Actuarial Studies in November, Christina started working as a credit analyst in one of world’s largest trade credit insurance companies.
She will begin to build her career working in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.