A home away from home: Finding community in residence

It’s never easy to move out of home and study with hundreds of other students in residence. Now, imagine doing this in a foreign country far from your homeland.
 

This year Monique Gandhi (India), Eylul Ertay (Turkey) and Richard Zhu (China) joined the Residential College after previously studying in the Foundation Studies program. The three caught up with us to discuss what it has been like coming into residence.

Monique Gandhi
 
Monique who is in the first year of a Bachelor of Arts degree was initially worried that she might not “fit in” with the other students in the Residential College. However, she has quickly found her friends in the Residential College are just as friendly as those in Foundation Studies. 
 
“The people are really nice, they make an effort to make you feel like you belong and to make you feel as comfortable as possible,” says Monique.
 
Monique plans on majoring in Criminology and Psychology in the hope of one day becoming a criminal psychologist and helping victims of violence and sexual assault back in India.
 
Eylul Ertay
 
Eylul came to the College with few expectations but found the year in Foundation Studies a good opportunity to make new friends, some of which she says have remained close. 
 
Eylul excelled throughout her year in Foundation Studies, to the point where she was chosen as Foundation Studies February Main Valedictorian 2017 (out of a cohort of over 880 students). 
 
Eylul is adjusting to life in residence despite the challenges that come with adapting to a new environment. 
 
“In one [Foundation Studies] you’re just with international students and one [Residential College] you’re with mainly Australian students. It might seem a bit more challenging to move to the Residential College, but we are in Australia, after a point you just get more and more comfortable with everything around you,” says Eylul.
 
She hopes to major in computing and software systems and plans to work in Artificial Intelligence that combines her interests of science and technology.

Richard Zhu
 
First year Bachelor of Science student, Richard, believes O Week was an important opportunity to meet new students and build bonds with his peers. He plans to contribute to the College by participating in a range of academic and social programs.
 
 “Getting involved in sports and joining clubs and societies are great ways to achieve a balanced life,” says Richard. “I am excited about college rowing and athletics events, as well as bushwalking and wildlife conservation projects.”
 
As the Dux of Foundation Studies February Main Program and recipient of Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship, Richard hopes to continue his academic excellence at University.
 
“The University course is a new challenge for me, but I believe that my goals and consistent efforts as well as the support and resources at the Residential College will enable me to excel.” 
 
Richard intends to study veterinary medicine at university and he wishes to contribute towards the understanding of the interplay between animal health, human health, and environmental sustainability.   
 
This year there are six new overseas students who have joined the Residential College. We wish them all a happy and successful year ahead.
16/05/2018

Category: Foundation Studies