Malaysian student Sanford has a passion for music. His dream was to pursue this as a career by studying at the University of Adelaide.

This was made possible for him by first completing the Foundation Studies Program with us. Earlier this year Sanford was able to transition to the University and is now proud to be in his first year of a Bachelor of Classical Performance with a major in Piano.

Here he shares some of the ways in which the College helped to prepare him for university life.

How is studying in Australia different to your home country?

It was a big cultural shock. People here are much more open to listening and accepting different topics and perspectives, whereas some topics in my home country are considered taboo to talk about. I myself am an open person so this gives me the freedom of speech that I have always wanted.


What skills have you gained in preparation for university?

I think I’ve developed a strong work ethic and teamwork skills. I’ve also learned to not compare myself to the progress of others as this can cause additional (and unnecessary!) stress.

Communication is another very important skill. I wanted to make sure I’m able to convey my message properly when playing music. For example, I’ve asked for help on how to convey the emotions of the music properly.

Did you feel supported by the College?

The free Tutor Assistance Program (TAP) was really valuable in clearing up things that I wasn’t sure of before. The one-on-one counselling service has also helped me tremendously.


How did you make friends?

I made friends with other people in my course and also from the University of Adelaide Malaysian Student Club. This is one of the many University clubs you have free access to as a College student and it’s been nice to make friends who share a similar background.


Do you have a favourite memory so far?

I’ve really enjoyed the many activities offered by the different clubs at the University – joining the Gliding Club, I was finally able to fly as a pilot, which was one of my lifelong dreams.


What are you most proud of?

Getting High Distinctions in many of my subjects!


What is your accommodation like?

I live in a homestay rental with four other housemates in the suburbs of Adelaide. I like that I have my own room because I have privacy which I truly find sacred. It’s also not as expensive compared to other accommodation options I looked at.


Did you use any of the University facilities while at the College?

The Shulz Building at Adelaide North Terrace was my favourite place. They have many grand pianos that you can borrow with a private studio, so you can practise in peace.


Any advice for new students?

Try to avoid procrastinating. Even if you’re an introvert, find your fellow introverts and finish assignments together which will help motivate you. It will leave you with so much more time to enjoy other activities while you’re studying abroad.


Our Foundation Studies (Music) program is now accepting applications for February 2022 – it’s your path, your way.

Find out more about our Foundation Studies Program and how it can help you get into your dream degree at the University of Adelaide – a member of the Group of Eight and consistently ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide.