Arora shares what it's like studying Foundation Studies from Botswana

By Emily McAuliffe

Anya Arora has been taking Trinity’s Foundation Studies program online and tells of her experiences, including what she thinks of the teachers and why she was drawn to the University of Melbourne.

Anya AroraMy name is Anya Arora, but everyone calls me by my last name, Arora. I’m in the July Fast Track course at Trinity College and am currently studying online. I am based in Gaborone, Botswana.

Originally, I am from India. Both my parents were born there and so was I, but they moved me to Botswana in Southern Africa when I was extremely young. I’ve been living here for over 18 years now.

A representative from the University of Melbourne came to my school to give a presentation, and by the end of that presentation I was 100% sure that I wanted to go to the University of Melbourne – that was my aim. I got in contact with the university shortly after and they explained that, to get in, I would either have to do two years of A-levels or complete the Foundation Studies program at Trinity College, so I opted for Trinity.

What caught my attention at the University of Melbourne was the system of “75% is your major and then 25% is a breadth subject”. (This means that 25% of your study can be in subjects that interest you and aren’t necessarily directly related to your degree.) To me that was very interesting as I could study what was needed but also pursue my hobbies and take them to another level.

If I am being honest, I didn’t expect to get a scholarship. When I applied, I had no hope of getting an email saying that I would receive a scholarship to cover 50% of my fees, so when I did, I was ecstatic.

Since I am not physically present, I cannot fully elaborate how studying in Melbourne is compared to Botswana, but I personally feel like, for most international students, the part that shocks us the most is when we find out how we interact with our teachers. The teacher-student relationship in Melbourne is more casual and, coming from a country where I didn’t even know the first names of most of my teachers growing up, I was taken aback.

I think the environment Trinity College has created for its students is amazing, it really allows us to feel comfortable around our teachers. They help us in every way possible and are very understanding. Not that I mean this was uncommon at my old school, but the teacher-student relationship was very formal and strict at school.

When it comes to the teachers, I think I hit the jackpot because I don’t have any issues with any of them and I’ve already established a relationship with all of them.

My two favourite core subjects are Literature and History of Ideas. For literature, I enjoy reading texts and analysing them, finding the deeper meaning, and for history, it helps in giving me more insight into how the past has affected the present.

My two favourite elective subjects are Media and Communications and Psychology. I feel like in this day and age, learning about media is very important, especially since the world is constantly changing and most of “our world” is on a screen. Being media literate is a life skill more than anything. Psychology I find interesting because I’ve always been curious as to why certain people behave the way they do, and this class helps me understand it.

At the University of Melbourne, I want to do my Bachelor of Arts then continue to do my Juris Doctor (graduate law degree). I think in my Bachelor of Arts I’ll do a double major in Criminology and Media and Communications (I’m still unsure), then do my masters after that to become a lawyer.

The teachers didn’t lie when they told us the workload would pile up during the course, but I feel like, in a way, this is good because as students we learn how to organise our time and this habit of time management will only benefit us in university as well as our careers.

Also, I live in a time zone that’s eight hours behind Melbourne and this has taken a toll on my lifestyle. More than the workload, the time difference is extremely straining on an individual, so time management is very important, in my opinion, particularly when studying in a different country.

I have been able to make a few friends, even studying online. Trinity students are friendly and won’t shy away from a conversation. Also, I think it’s because we all understand we are in the same boat so we won’t be closed off to our peers.

I would 100% recommend Trinity College to anyone who has the intention of studying in Australia.


23 Aug 2021
Category: Foundation Studies