Trinity promotes critical thinking and open discussions – hear from FS student Grace

By Emily McAuliffe

Grace Amara Ho Ming En is studying Foundation Studies online from Malaysia and says Trinity College has helped her to become more independent.

Grace Amara Ming En HoWhat intake are you in at Trinity?

February Main 2021

Where are you currently studying? 

I’m currently studying online in Kuching, Malaysia.

Why did you choose Trinity? 

I chose Trinity primarily because I’ve dreamed of studying in Melbourne for a very long time. Of course, the University of Melbourne’s reputation led me to Trinity as the easiest gateway into the university.

I had also taken part in the Malaysia Essay Writing Competition 2020 to win a scholarship for the Young Leaders Program. Although I ended up being one of the six winners, I did not have the chance to attend due to the closed borders, but I was made aware of what Trinity College had to offer in terms of the subjects they had available and found that they interested me greatly.

I also chose Trinity because of how fondly my sister spoke of her time in Trinity and the teachers she had. My older sister studied at Trinity in the February Main 2012 intake and I remember travelling to Melbourne with my family to get her settled, which is when I developed very distinct memories of the campus.

What did it mean to you to get a scholarship to attend Trinity College?

I definitely did not expect to get a scholarship at Trinity. When I found out, I was on the way home from a series of final exams and I excitedly shared the news with my family to celebrate with them. I squealed with joy and all the worry I harboured over the previous few months felt insignificant because I had something to celebrate in such a difficult year. It truly felt like a blessing after such a difficult year (2020) where my future felt uncertain.

How has the scholarship helped you?

It has helped to relieve the financial burden on me and my family. As an international student, the fees are high, so this gave me an opportunity to enter Australian higher education with ease. Especially during difficult times, Trinity’s generosity during such difficult times motivated me to excel in my studies and matriculate into Melbourne University.

How would you describe your experience at Trinity?

My experience at Trinity has been relatively enjoyable considering the mode of delivery. Studying online is obviously not ideal but Trinity has proven that it can be done and that it is done well. The amount of support and resources available is something that I am totally not familiar with. So considering the situation, online studies has been more enjoyable than I anticipated it to be.

What’s your favourite thing about Trinity College?

My favourite thing about Trinity is simply the culmination of everything: the teaching style, academic culture, teachers, academic staff and the students I meet. I adore the fact that my classmates come from many different cultures and countries, so it gives me an opportunity to meet people from so many walks of life.

What do you think of the teaching style at Trinity? How is it different to what you are used to? 

Personally, I love the teaching style at Trinity. Class time is typically very dynamic and engaging. We are encouraged to ask questions and assert our opinions while thinking critically for ourselves. I believe that my classmates and I were not familiar with this classroom culture because we came from academic backgrounds that did not prioritise critical thinking and open discussions. I find that the academic culture in Trinity invites us to become our own independent individuals.

What do you think of your teachers? 

The teachers are mostly very encouraging and understanding. I experienced culture shock in the first few weeks of school because I wasn’t used to such nurturing teachers who care about the wellbeing of their students. I love that they encourage their students to do their best and simply want to see us succeed. Many teachers invite students to contact them when we need help and it is very reassuring knowing that I can seek support from my teachers.

What are your two favourite core subjects and why?

My favourite core subjects are Literature and Drama. Literature is by far my favourite subject because I love analysing pieces of literature and writing about them. I have prior experience studying English literature, but I didn’t enjoy it. My tutor at Trinity, Caryn Adams, has been so encouraging and I was able to eventually fall in love with the subject. Creatively, literature helps me to adopt an inquisitive and investigative mindset so I can learn to read between the lines.

Drama also allows me to be expressive and hone my communication skills. It taught me how to be mindful about the way I carry myself and this skill transfers to every aspect of life.

What are your two favourite elective subjects and why?

My favourite elective subjects are Media and Communications and Mathematics 1. Media and Communications has allowed me to cultivate and express my creativity. I especially like this subject because it made me realise that I want to work in media in the future, hopefully in marketing or advertising. The activities and assessments were so enjoyable, they hardly felt like work at all.

I like Mathematics 1 because it engages my problem-solving skills and gives me a great sense of satisfaction when I solve a question correctly after a lot of working.

How do you think Trinity College Foundation Studies has prepared you for university studies and your career?

It has prepared me by teaching me university skills and conditioned me for what I might expect to encounter in university. The learning style of lectures and tutorials also allows for a smooth transition into university, especially since I come from a different background and learning style. We are also encouraged to work collaboratively in groups to build teamwork skills. This is especially helpful since my secondary education was largely comprised of examinations.

Have you been able to make friends with other students?

I was able to make friends with other students during orientation and was blessed to make more friends in my classes that I frequently contact. We often have study group sessions where we help each other out or simply enjoy each other’s company over a few online games.

Why did you want to go to the University of Melbourne? 

I have always dreamt of studying in Melbourne because of how liveable the city is. After visiting the university’s campus a few years ago to take pictures for my sister’s graduation, I imagined myself studying there. I also know many alumni who enjoyed their time studying at the university and spoke fondly of their experience there.

What degree do you want to study at the University of Melbourne?

Bachelor of Commerce and Marketing.

Would you recommend Trinity College to other students? 

Yes! Especially if they know that they want to study in the University of Melbourne.


20 Sep 2021
Category: Foundation Studies