After having worked in a pressure-cooker environment in both Malaysia and Australia, it did feel like a good break once I had enrolled into the University of Adelaide. The skills acquired at my previous workplace were quite valuable, but I wanted to get more out of life at Uni. Being in Adelaide for the first time ever as an international student with only half a year of prior experience (also as a working professional), I had my task cut out for me – I had to revive my stagnant career, make new friends, and start somewhere new.
What do you think was the best first step? Well, I befriended almost all the ISC Peer Mentors during the busy Orientation period. I even asked them how I could be a part of the elite program. I got accepted into the program a few days after I put in the application, and to be honest, I did get a few recommendations from former and current Peer Mentors that boosted my chances of becoming a mentor myself. So here I am, an ISC Peer Mentor, who is ready to help you with adjust to the new university environment. I look forward to meeting during Orientation. It’s going to be a joy ride!
My Tips for New Students
1. Adelaide is a small city, which makes it easier to make new friends. Start at the Language and Cultural Exchange Programs, held every Friday evening (T.G.I.F.!!!) and arranged by the ISC. I must stress that it is a good idea to focus on making friends from countries other than your own so you can learn something new about their culture, and share your own ideas as well. Embrace the multicultural fabric woven into the university environment. This is your chance!
2. Focus on your studies, which is paramount.
3. Look for a Job after your first semester, but do volunteer wherever possible (subject to your time constraints).
4. Visit the surrounding parts of Adelaide at least twice a month. Don’t be cooped up at home!
5. Getting jobs is not easy. Having a decent network of people from different industry sectors does matter. Try to network as much as you can.
6. Try Fish’n’Chips by any beach in Adelaide.
7. Though Glenelg Beach is the easiest to visit, it has been getting over-commercialised these days. Consider visiting beaches such as Brighton or Semaphore. Pro Tip – You CAN get there by train via the Brighton and Glanville Stations, respectively – Gold!
8. Become an Adelaide Union Member. It gives you discounts in the city and opens doors to joining other sports clubs.
9. South Australia is a state of many festivals – Fringe, WOMAD, Clipsal 500, Wine Festival, Cheese Festival, to name a few!
10. Make a trip to Victor Harbor, Kangaroo Island, Hahndorf, Mount Lofty, the Botanical Gardens, and Belair National Park at least once if you can!