How do you choose the right university, or the right degree? What should you focus on? Do you want to stay local or move far away?
Picking the right university is no easy feat.
So, here is my hindsight, which will hopefully become your foresight:
Experience Student Life Beyond A Text Book
The world is changing, and university education needs to change as well. It is important to remember that you need to build yourself and not just your resume in your university time.
A big 4 recruiter explains, “[If you want a shot at a competitive graduate position] yes, you want to demonstrate how you’ve worked hard and maintained a great GPA: but more importantly today it is about how you’ve worked in teams and demonstrated leadership. We want ‘people people’.”
The University of Newcastle (UON) are committed to giving graduates the best possible start in the employment market by offering exclusive leadership opportunities to students.
They launched the International Leadership Experience and Development (iLEAD) Program in 2009 to provide their students with International Leadership opportunities that will set them apart from any other university graduates.
In 2018 brand new opportunities will exist for students through the iLEAD Plus program.
The program is tailored to student’s unique leadership goals, and both expands and deepens connections to UON’s global network of alumni. It facilitates building the skills, traits and perspectives students need to be the leaders of tomorrow.
This program provides opportunities to join Australian delegations at international conferences and recent examples include the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and The Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations Conference.
What’s better? Any UON student can apply.
This kind of experience will set you apart from any other university graduate.
Pick an institution that supports study abroad
The thought of studying abroad sparkled in my mind ever since I was in high school. Time went by and it never happened. Going abroad for your studies is a huge step and probably one of the most important life-changing decisions you’ll make.
If you choose the University of Newcastle you’ll be spoilt for choice. Here are a few options for you to consider, all that can be credited towards your degree!
- Semester Exchange
UON gives you the opportunity to live and study overseas at one of our partner institutions for either 1 semester or 1 year. You remain enrolled and paying tuition at UON while at the partner institution, and earn credit towards your UON degree.
- Academic Short Courses
Academic Short courses are less than a semester exchange, and are generally between 2 to 4 weeks in duration, typically run during the winter and summer breaks.
They are a great option for those who are unable to participate in a Semester Exchange, those who want to add an international element to their degree, or by those who have a spare elective.
UON works with several universities and organisations that manage a wide range of short-term programs for students all over the world.
- Internships and placements
For students who want internship or placement requirements with their degree, opportunities may exist for those placements to be undertaken overseas. There are also great funded opportunities to support students to go overseas.
What’s studying abroad like?
Meet, Phoebe, Bachelor of Commerce student who went on exchange to the University of Korea:
“The most amazing thing about my time abroad is the incredible impact pushing past my comfort zone had on not only my personality, but my perception of the world and its different cultures. I find myself understanding more about different cultures and people, and as a result have become more knowledgeable and understanding of people and their backgrounds.
It was amazing to become fully immersed into a completely different culture – although it was at times confronting and confusing, I would not give up the experience for anything. I at first considered studying abroad in perhaps the UK or USA, but I think it is far more beneficial to really push your comforts, and try immersing yourself in a culture that you are completely unfamiliar with. Would do it all over again!”
Think Outside The Box For Life After Graduation
Entrepreneurship means different things to different people. Some imagine tech-starts ups, while others see their industry growing at full-speed. Whatever it means to you, it’s changing the way the world works. It’s what innovates and solves some of the world’s biggest challenges, and that’s why I wish I had chosen a university that embraced entrepreneurism within various faculties.
UON students are even launching their own start-ups, whilst at University.
Meet, Andreas, a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical) / Bachelor of Business graduate:
“Not even the sky is the limit when getting your ideas off the ground as a UON student.
In the final year of my combined electrical engineering and business degree I created my own start-up company called Obelisk Systems.
As part of my final year project I developed an affordable CubeSat satellite platform called ProtoSAT that could be used in the classroom, research environments and beyond. ProtoSAT transformed to real space hardware for the growing Australian space industry, and our evolution of education hardware, StarLAB, is expanding to schools across the country. It is so rewarding to see my own ideas and vision turn into a successful venture.”
Consider Moving Onto Campus.
Finally, I never considered leaving Sydney for university, big mistake. Go to university, live on campus, leave home!
On-campus kids have the best of both worlds: they get to experience life out of home well before the rest of us – while still having a bedroom at home for the holidays. The bond of living together on campus lives on well after university finishes and it’s a common story for people to meet their lifelong friends in residential colleges. It makes me jealous, and regretful that I missed that chapter in my life.