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Why universities are more than a place to study

·4-min read

Chances are, you’re going to uni to get a degree. You’ve either just finished high school, a gap year or are returning to study after working or raising a family. By the end of your three or more years, yes, you’ll have a qualification – but in reality, you’ll walk out with so much more.

The hard part is choosing where to go. Luckily, annual university Open Days are right around the corner, so start thinking about where you’d like to study. You’ve probably already got ideas for the course. So, take advantage of the Open Days held at unis around Australia to see which uni best suits you.

PR consultant Amanda Lacey from Popcom completed her marketing degree at Australian Catholic University (ACU) in North Sydney. She was a mature aged student at the ripe old age of 25.

“I love ACU. I had a great time there,” she says.

Universities are like little cities, each with their own clubs, politics and culture. Visiting a campus is the best way to feel which one suits your values and lifestyle. You’ll soon realise how unique universities actually are.

The lecturers

Most people would only interact with lecturers during their uni years. But this interaction varies greatly between universities. While some are only seen in front of a whiteboard, others will gladly share a cuppa.

“The biggest thing for me was the lecturers. I can name them all,” says Amanda.

“I could email any of them and say, ‘Hey, remember me, I was in your class,’ and they would remember who I was and have a cup of coffee. They were really open with their time.

“And, they wanted you to succeed. It was nice.”

Open Days are great for seeing how lecturers interact with their students. You’ll soon pick up just how well the lecturers know their students and care for their wellbeing.

The environment

University buildings and grounds vary greatly. Some have historic buildings and some modern facilities – others are a mix of both. The size of the uni also influences the grounds and the general atmosphere.

“A lot of the classrooms were in commercial buildings around North Sydney. North Sydney is a really small suburb. You feel like the suburb is your home,” says Amanda.

Teacher Zach Woodward studied at ACU in Brisbane.

“From one of the buildings where we did our exams, we could see planes flying in and out of the airport. That was really nice. The grounds themselves were all green with beautiful brick buildings. It was a beautiful place.”

Friends and community spirit

University is where you make friends for life. Imagine a group of strangers in one room with the same interests and career aspirations, all starting a journey together.

“We’ve maintained friendships, definitely. I studied marketing and business. Business is a small cohort. It was really friendly,” says Amanda.

Unlike school, Amanda also regularly keeps in touch with her lecturers.

“We still speak on LinkedIn and Messenger. So, the community spirit was really strong.”

Even in your career, you’re sure to spot a friendly face from your uni days.

Primary school teacher Zach says, “I have quite a few friends from there. I see them at Saturday sport because we all coach at our schools. So, I see them around the place.”

Uni life

Uni is the one place that caters for every hobby, interest or curiosity. Open Days are where university clubs search for new members. You’ll see stalls for various sporting clubs, political clubs, social justice groups and anything in between. Have a love for 80s music? There’ll be a club for that. Fan of Star Trek? Join the Star Trek Club. And if your ideal club doesn’t exist, start one yourself!

“There were harbour cruises, lunches, dinners, sports, there was everything,” says Amanda.

Uni is a place to grow and form memories. With courses lasting three to six years, it’s important you put the time into choosing the right place for you.

ACU knows the importance of Open Days in informing students about their future studies. You can visit the Blacktown Campus on 31 July. Strathfield, Canberra and Brisbane campuses will be open on 7 August. Melbourne Campus will be open on 8 August. North Sydney will be open a week later, on 14 August, and Ballarat Campus will be open on 15 August. And if you can’t make it in person, you can join an online Open Day on the 7 and 8 August.

Visit an Open Day to find out how ACU can support you to achieve your goals.

Australian Catholic University (ACU) knows the importance of Open Days in informing you about your future studies. Visit an ACU Open Day to find out how they can support you to achieve your goals. Check out what’s on offer and register now.

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