Studying for a degree at the University of Melbourne

Taking your studies abroad means you can broaden your horizons and experience a different culture. 

But that’s not all. It can also give your career prospects a big boost – giving you the ideal opportunity to showcase soft skills such as independence and initiative on your CV. And, as a nice bonus, you might even save a few quid on the cost of a UK uni education.

melbourne university

But what is it like going to university on the other side of the world? We spoke to Londoner Shae Courtney, a 21-year-old third-year studying for a BA in English and Theatre Studies at the University of Melbourne to find out. 

What made you choose to study at the University of Melbourne?
I chose the University of Melbourne because it is Australia’s foremost tertiary education provider with exemplary research attainment and superb academics. I chose Australia because of the relatively competitive price of a degree when compared to the increases in tuition fees for UK domestic students from 2012 forward.

What are the outstanding features of studying for a degree at Melbourne University?
The quality of education and the care bestowed upon each student. There are plenty of pathways into a professional career and this is well facilitated by the university.

How do you think studying overseas has helped you develop as a person?
Being a long way from my roots, I can wholeheartedly say that the point at which I transitioned from childhood to adulthood occurred here in Melbourne.

Finding a house to live in, buying a car, finding a job, developing my professional networks and completing internships without the support of family close by has been incredibly beneficial to my independence and ambition. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is student life like in Melbourne?
Fun. There is always something to do. Melbourne has a great range of cultural activities and the nightlife isn’t too shabby either.

I integrated extremely quickly into Melbourne living, helped in part by not living at university. I elected to find a share house because I thought (and was proved correct) that this would offer me greater exposure to the real Melbourne.

Australia is a long way from the UK! Did you suffer from any homesickness or culture shock?
No. I am an incredibly independent person. Culturally, the two nations are not vastly removed from one another, despite the geographical distance. I speak to my family via Skype once or twice a week. 

what is it like studying in australia

Australia is a long way from the UK! Did you suffer from any homesickness or culture shock?
No. I am an incredibly independent person. Culturally, the two nations are not vastly removed from one another, despite the geographical distance. I speak to my family via Skype once or twice a week. 

What have you got from your Melbourne course that you couldn't have got in the UK?
Individual and tailored feedback and one-to-one mentoring. Having previously studied at university-level in the UK, I can vouch that there just isn’t that tailored care and attention.

What do you plan to do once you have graduated?
I plan to immediately migrate into a graduate program. I have secured a couple of graduate positions, but this is a fraught and tenuous time. 

Graduates like me will be wondering whether they should study further, enter the workforce full-time or go travelling. I believe professional development is best.

When it comes to finding work and starting a career, what advantages do you think you’ll get from having studied overseas?
I firmly believe travelling of any kind is beneficial in fostering a greater appreciation of cultural sensitivities and values. I think my time in Australia will demonstrate independence, determination, ambition and resilience. I hope that these core qualities will come to the fore in my job applications.

What advice would you give to other UK students thinking of studying outside the UK?
While it may seem a daunting prospect, there really is nothing quite like studying outside of your home country for boosting self esteem and confidence. There is little risk and the university provides excellent support networks should you fall by the wayside. 

Choosing Australian as a Briton is surely one of the safest options you could make if you are thinking of studying overseas for an extended period.

Follow in Shae's footsteps and find out more about studying in Australia with the University of Melbourne. 

Also take a look at our Studying in Australia Q&A. If you have any questions about studying in Australia post them up!