Michele Sembiring Meliala says she loves the way Trinity's teachers encourage students to have an opinion and speak up.
What intake are you in at Trinity?
February Main 2021
Where are you from?
Why did you choose Trinity?
I chose Trinity because it is the direct pathway to the University of Melbourne, which has always been my dream university to study at. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the great quality of education in both Trinity and University of Melbourne.
What did it mean to you to get a scholarship to attend Trinity College?
I feel extremely honoured and grateful to be provided with a scholarship, as it signifies a recognition of my academic efforts. I have always doubted my school achievements, but this scholarship boosted my confidence in how competent I am when it comes to studies. I feel acknowledged for my success.
How has the scholarship helped you?
The scholarship has helped me tremendously in my motivation to do my best at Trinity. It has pushed me to my limit, even when things became really difficult. This award reminds me every day that I am capable of anything.
How would you describe your experience at Trinity?
My experiences at Trinity have been very enlightening. I am more aware of what is happening around the world today, such as culture as well as political and social issues. It has been really fascinating to research different topics that blow my mind.
Trinity also encourages us to think critically, so I feel really engrossed in the different opinions that rise from the course material.
What’s your favourite thing about Trinity College?
My favourite thing about Trinity College is how patient and understanding the teachers are. The staff at Trinity never make students feel like they’re slow or unintelligent. Rather, the teachers always encourage us to ask questions and speak up! They will tell you how awesome you are in your task, but also correct our mistakes gently and patiently. The staff here are really what make Trinity College a wonderful institution for education.
What do you think of the teaching style at Trinity? How is it different to what you are used to?
The most prominent difference in the education environment is how the teachers are pleased with any answers we give. The more we speak up, the more we are viewed as active students and not ‘rude and obnoxious’ students. There is a frequent saying in Trinity college, which says, “There is no such thing as a wrong answer”. This quote is really useful for shy students like me, who only speak up when I am sure of the right answer.
This is different from my home country, where teachers are more appreciative of the direct and correct answer instead of discussing all the possible answers like at Trinity. Just like in maths, I am more used to my previous teachers who want either ‘a’ or ‘b’ only as the answer. But in Trinity, answers can range from ‘a-z’, and the teachers would still listen attentively.
What do you think of your teachers?
My teachers are incredibly friendly and caring. They have stretched my abilities, which provides me with great growth and opportunities. They have made me more confident in combating tricky tasks and have shown me the scope that I am capable of.
What are your two favourite core subjects and why?
My two favourite core subjects are Literature and History of Ideas (HOI). I have grown to love Literature in Trinity. This is super shocking to me because I dropped Literature as a subject in my previous school. But at Trinity, the teachers have made Literature so much fun and educational. I have become more empathetic and aware of the issues around the world, as we have gone through a lot of these themes through poems, novels and plays.
I like HOI as well because, just like Literature, there is a lot of critical thinking, which proves that there is not always just one right answer to a problem. There are thousands of ways to view a matter, and none of them are wrong! It is also very intriguing to identify the solutions to past problems that have shaped the modern world today.
Both Literature and HOI are subjects that allow students to prepare an easier transition into the University of Melbourne.
What are your two favourite elective subjects and why?
My two favourite elective subjects are Maths 1 and Maths 2. As scary as Maths 2 sounds, this subject has developed my problem-solving abilities. I have always been fascinated with numbers, especially the satisfaction it gives when I finally work out the solution. The teachers in Maths 2 are also very enjoyable during tutorials. They do not pressure us to get things done the next day. Rather, the teachers guide us step-by-step in questions we are unsure of how to solve, at our own pace.
Maths 1 is also a fascinating subject as it expands our reasoning and critical thinking using just numbers.
How do you think Trinity College Foundation Studies has prepared you for university studies and your career?
Trinity College Foundation Studies has prepared me in writing essays that involve critical thinking, and developing ideas with great evaluation. It has also assisted me in becoming an independent learner, where I am responsible for my own actions. I have succeeded in planning a precise weekly timetable to do my schoolwork, which means I have moved away from the limited value of procrastination.
Have you been able to make friends with other students?
Even during a global pandemic I made friends with several classmates that helped me in this program. Students at Trinity College are mostly willing to help each other anytime and every time.
Why did you want to go to the University of Melbourne?
I have strong confidence that the faculties at the University of Melbourne are incredibly qualified and experts in their fields. Therefore, I will be provided with the best education that will allow me to handle complex problems in the most advanced way.
What degree do you want to study at the University of Melbourne?
I plan to pursue the Bachelor of Science and intend to study a Computer Science major. Working with numbers, codes and artificial intelligence appears very fascinating to me, even though it sounds complex and difficult. I believe that with great effort and practice, I will be able to succeed in a course that I have never learned subject matter in.
Would you recommend Trinity College to other students?
Yes, I would recommend Trinity College to others students because this institution provides diversity in courses, and not only STEM subjects, which I feel restrict debates in worldwide issues.