For my co-international students who started their postgraduate program in February 2016, we are already concluding the first half of the program. Couldn’t really and fully grasp how fast the months went by. I am in still in awe as 6 out of the 12 subjects have already been taken, and hopefully all with good results. So while we are still in limbo, waiting for the exam results and final grades, I thought to just reflect on the past semesters that went by and list a few learnings:
- Homesickness will always be there but it is how you learn to cope with it that matters most.
- Taking 3 subjects, with each subject having 3-4 assessment items each, there will be an average of 1 assessment item due per week in a semester. Plan strategic breaks in between to prevent or minimize burn out.
- Take advantage of free academic workshops or seminars that the uni offers. They are really helpful, especially with getting into terms with the required writing styles for the assessments.
- Time management is key! A really difficult art to master but is totally the answer to juggling uni, work, and personal time.
- Find any extracurricular activity that you enjoy, because all work and no play makes one dull!
- Stay focused on the goal. There may be times that challenges may throw us off track but we must stay on course and keep our eyes on the prize—that postgraduate degree!
- Try to volunteer in uni activities, city fundraisers, or any other activity you find interesting. It is a great way to meet people with common interests and be immersed in the Australian culture.
- Maximize your stay in Australia, while it lasts. Go on tours! Try bushwalking and coastal walks or just a day in the park with a nice meal.
So far, those are some of the valuable realizations I’ve gained and I know the list will grow as we face the 2nd half of the postgraduate program. I am both excited and nervous for what’s to come but I’d like to keep it positive. Meanwhile, let’s all go and enjoy the 2-week break before the summer term begins! Catch you all later! J