If you’re an international student about to come and study in Adelaide, you might be wondering, ‘how do I get the most out of my student life in Australia over the next few years?’
You’ve gone through a long application process and worked hard to get here. So, what exactly do you need to do, to make sure you’re getting ‘your money’s worth’ when it comes to the international student experience?
We approached some University of Adelaide students who began their study journey at the University of Adelaide College, and asked them to share their advice. While each of them had their own ideas, they all agreed on one important point…
Study comes first, but what you do in your spare time is just as important, if you want to grow and be happy.
Enrich your extracurricular life. Study is important, but what you do in your leisure time also matters. Rather than staying at home for a whole day during the weekend, participate in volunteer work at the College or find a part-time job. This can be really important and interesting. – Yi (Freddie) Lou (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Architecture, University of Adelaide)
Luckily, Adelaide is a vibrant city with a diverse, friendly and multicultural population. In fact, around 27% of students in Adelaide are international. * There are lots of opportunities to go out, meet people and have a great social life while doing well in your studies.
This video will help give you a little peek into what your future in Adelaide could look like:
Here’s what our students had to say about making the most of international student life in Adelaide.
The first thing you need to get started in your new life is a positive attitude.
When you arrive in Australia, you might feel a little shy. Don’t let your fears hold you back. Get out into the city and talk to people at your school, and you’ll make friends in no time.
Life abroad can be stressful at first but exciting as time progresses. As an international student, I would advise my friends coming here to be open to social activities as much as possible. This way you can communicate well and learn the language faster. – Soneesha Lakshman (Pre-Master’s Program to Master of Public Health, University of Adelaide)
Don’t forget to start off with a study plan too and set up short and long-term goals.
That way, you can balance work and life, and give yourself some extra time to enjoy your new home.
The top priority should always be study. You ought to set up your specific learning habits, and short and long-term goals as soon as you get settled in Adelaide. – Yi (Freddie) Lou (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Architecture, University of Adelaide)
Freddie Lou (second from left)
From beautiful beaches to historic architecture, Adelaide is full of exciting places to discover.
Exploring with your new friends on a day out or weekend away is a great way to get to know each other better, while having some unforgettable experiences. The Central Market, Glenelg Beach, Adelaide Zoo and nearby Barossa Valley are just a few of the fantastic places you can go. Check out a full list here from Tourism SA.
The State Library of South Australia is a must-see in Adelaide. It’s one of the oldest libraries in the world, and it’s a beautiful and quiet learning environment which is a peaceful place to study. – Ynèz Chiu (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Arts/Teaching, University of Adelaide)
Adelaide is known as the ‘festival city’ because of its incredible calendar of international events.
I highly recommend that new students go to Fringe Festival. Also, if you are staying in Unilodge or other student lounge, attend their festivals and activities every month. Sometimes you get free food tickets! It’s not only a great way to get to know other students from the College, but also a great chance to build friendships with other students. – Ynèz Chiu (Foundation Studies Bachelor of Arts/Teaching, University of Adelaide)
In between festivals, make sure you check out the general calendar of events in Adelaide.
“Establish your own social network. Adelaide is named the city of festivals. By getting yourself involved in all kinds of events, you will be integrated into Aussie culture at a more rapid pace and have a lot of new friends coming from different parts of the world.” – Yi (Freddie) Lou (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Architecture, University of Adelaide)
As a new student, don’t forget that the first place to look for social groups, advice and support is within the walls of your own school or college.
The Social Club is a central part of the College community and hosts lots of fun events every year.
“The Social Club at the College should be your first move in making friends.” – Yi (Freddie) Lou (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Architecture, University of Adelaide)
“Attend College activities, for example, the Halloween party. This is a great chance to understand cultural differences and meet new friends.” – Ynèz Chiu (Foundation Studies to Bachelor of Arts/Teaching, University of Adelaide)
Did you know that the University of Adelaide has over 130 clubs on offer? As a student at the College, you will also have access to all these social clubs and societies, so it’s worth getting involved early on.
Whether you’re interested in theatre or football, you’re sure to find some new friends and have fun when you join a club. The best part is that you get to meet students from all years of the University as well as the College, because the clubs are open to everyone.
Joining in social activities or participating in clubs always helps new students to adapt quickly to university life. – Soneesha Lakshman (Pre-Master’s Program to Master of Public Health, University of Adelaide)