Written by Stephanie Chen
Wouldn’t it be great if you could study overseas, and bring all your friends from home with you?
Although it might seem impossible, this is how my friends and I are studying at ANU.
Two years ago, I chose to take part in the ‘2+2’ Bachelor of Psychology program between Southwest University (SWU) and ANU, which means after finishing my first two years of study at SWU, I’m completing my degree at ANU with 25 other psychology students from home.
There is a really strong connection between all of us. For the past two years in China, we’ve been living together, helping each other with life and discussing questions together every day.
At ANU, it feels like nothing has changed except for the campus and language! We’ve all agreed that we will keep helping each other unconditionally. Studying aboard with friends is fantastic, they’ve created a home for me.
I remember my first day in Australia, arriving at Fenner Hall. I was busy unpacking for the whole day and had no time to buy food. My friends, Jasmine and Sky, who arrived days earlier, knew that I just moved in. So, they cooked dinner for me and texted me to join them.
There is nothing better than help when you are exhausted. And this is just a start.
During Orientation Week, we were warmly welcomed by a range of people - teachers and students in psychology, staff from the Australian Education Management Group (AEMG) and other residents at Fenner Hall. They have provided us with a sense of security, and I am 100% sure that they are there for us if we need to talk, or ask for help if we need it.
For international students who come to Australia alone, and are struggling with life at a new university and in a new country, my suggestion is to never give up finding your own community. Humans are social creatures; we need to be together.