My study experience in Perth
Before joining AECC Global as a Country Head of Singapore, I was the Sales and Operations Manager with another agency and has more than 10 years of experiences in this industry. I started off as an Education Counsellor, before moving on to do marketing and finally as the Sales and Operations Manager, managing a team of Education Counsellors.
I graduated from the University of Western Australia in Perth, with a Bachelor of Commerce in 2004. Having spent 2 years in Australia and visited different cities, I enjoyed sharing my experiences with the students. Despite being in a management position, I am still very involved with the students, as I enjoy speaking with them and handling their applications.
When I was younger, I never thought I would end up studying overseas. However, while in my national service time, both my sister and cousin were studying for their Bachelor degrees in Brisbane, and it somehow impacted me to follow their pathways and study in Australia. Thus, when the opportunity struck, I decided to attend the education fairs in order to find out more about studying in Australia, as well as submitting my application for admissions to the different Universities in Australia.
When the offer letters came, which happened to be many of them, I became indecisive in making the right decision in selecting the right school for me. Back then, I was not aware of the services of an education agent, while Google was still a relatively “new concept” back in those days. As such, I was not aware of the University rankings, prestige, or even the Group of Eight University groupings.
It was through coincidence that I met 2 of my secondary school classmates, whom both were going to Australia to study at the University of Western Australia, and that swayed me to join them at the same University. Needless to say, this helped me immensely in my decision making and choosing the University of Western Australia for my studies as well.
Unknowingly to me, the visa application process proved to be more difficult than I had expected. Luckily, my friend did her whole admission process through an education agent and she recommended me for their assistance. I did so and, with the help of the education agency, my student visa was approved within 2 weeks. This led me to believe that my whole admissions process could had been a lot easier if I had sought help from the education agency right from the start. Moreover, I was surprised that the education agency did not charge any fees for their services.
Life in Perth is very different from Singapore. The pace of life in Perth is much slower, and most of the shops closes after 5pm. Having come from a buzzing city like Singapore, this was quite drastic. But it did not take long for me to get used to the lifestyle and appreciate the slower pace of life in Australia. What was more surprising was that cars were so much cheaper in Australia than it is in Singapore. Back then, I purchased a 10 years old Ford for AUD $3,000, and it served me well throughout my time in Perth.
There are also many types of accommodation which you can consider. For my friends and I, we rented a two-storey apartment and each of us has our own room which cost us only AUD$250 per week. The house was 15 minutes’ drive away from school, and as we had our own cars thus commuting to school was not at all a trouble. Fast forward the time, the public transport system in Perth is now much more accessible and efficient. In addition, with the availability of concession fare for students, it is no surprise that many students choose public transport over a personal car to commute around. You can have more information here.
Studying overseas can be fun, but yet daunting at the same time. However, this can all be forgotten when the actual classes start, as the demand of the course curriculum will make every student busy with their school work in no time. University studies is such that no one will be “spoon feeding” you, and students are expected to be independent with their own learning progress. However, good news is that many Universities also offer mentorship program to help students who are struggling with certain aspect of their studies. I still remember that there were many informal study groups formed outside of the classrooms which was beneficial as I was receiving free tuition from some of my classmates who were more academically capable.
As an international student, I truly enjoyed my 2 years of studies in Perth. Apart from the academic knowledge learned in classrooms, the experiences of being new to the country and being independent, had definitely broadened my perspective as an individual. This further made me believe that one’s overall learning never just come from the classroom!