3. Is there flexibility in choosing your own timetable?
Flexibility is key for Sohani.
“Being a busy person who works part-time, volunteers, values family and friend time, values ‘me-time’ and invests time in my side hustle, flexibility becomes the make or break to surviving,” she says. “In having a say in preferred times and days I want to study, I can comfortably move around my other priorities without having to drop a commitment.”
4. What’s the commute like?
Swinburne is easily accessible by train, bus, tram and has onsite parking, too. In fact, Glenferrie station is also known as the Swinburne station.
Sohani and Stephen both spout the virtues of a convenient commute. “Considering the location of the university is important,” says Sohani. “For in-person lectures and classes, you need to be committed to attending all of them if you want to get the most out of your degree. If the commute is too long and inconvenient, then this is something to consider.”
“The campus, public transport, cafés, social venues and living in student residences all give me the warm fuzzies,” says Stephen. He finds that having everything so well-connected means there are more incidental encounters. “I often bump into people I study with. We chat, invite each other to go out, have a coffee or eat in the nearby cafés. It’s great to catch up with my friends, and it helps clear my mind for the next uni session.”
5. Can I change my studies when I’m already in deep?
“Sometimes, what you thought you wanted to study might not be what you want to continue with,” says Stephen. “Sometimes, the thought of not choosing the perfect course scares Year 12 students. I can relate because that’s exactly how I felt when I was doing my preferences. So, my advice would be – do not fret. Just because you’ve chosen your preferences, it doesn’t mean you’re forced to stick with it.”
Stephen has witnessed many friends stay at Swinburne but switch to other courses thanks to the extreme flexibility on offer at Swinburne (not every uni lets you change your major, or degree, mid-way through). So, he knows just how easy and commonplace changing your mind is. “Your professional purpose will change over time. It’s never too late to change your studies to be better aligned in satisfying your purpose.”
6. What’s the campus vibe?
Stephen (right) moving into student residences. He credits the supportive Swinburne community with making him feel accepted and inspired, and making the transition from high school to university as seamless as possible.
As with any period of transition or change in life, a strong and supportive community is so important. Your student will want a university and a course that challenges them in a positive way. But they also need a place where they will feel safe and secure to step out of their comfort zone and take measured risks that will help them grow. In order to thrive, they need a learning environment where they feel accepted, inspired and free of judgement.
“Friendly banter, laughter, support and a strong sense of belonging are all part of Swinburne’s DNA,” says Sohani. “It’s comforting to hear about other students’ stories, struggles, and passions.”
Stephen seconds Sohani’s take on the welcoming Swinburne community. “The friends I’ve made helped me adapt to the university lifestyle and living out of home for the first time.”
There you have it, six questions for your student to ask themselves before submitting their timely VTAC preferences by 5pm on 29 September.