Friday, July 24, 2020

My Ideal University

 My name is Varsha Satish Menon and I am currently undergoing my IB year 2 in Singapore. I would like to share a few of my aspirations as to what I wish to acquire from my ideal university. 

I have always been fascinated by the concept of university learning. For a while, I have had a frame of thought on how I wish my university to be.

Envisioning my ideal university, I would wish to have a large campus where education also blends in with nature. I have always been passionate about dancing, so one of my preferences would be to pursue dance as a hobby in the campus. This would be a fun way to be a part of the campus and build experiences. Sports like tennis or basketball have also been my interest as well so I would like to give it a try if I can be part of any sports groups or clubs.

Technology has been one of the most advancing developments in the world, so a tech friendly campus will be exciting to keep us grounded on the progress in the real world. As an extroverted person I have always loved to make friends; a campus that encourages welfare groups that are based on building social impact and other unique interests will be very a welcome experience.  

I would also love to have a university where there is a multicultural mix of students as the diversity will help me evolve in broadening my view of the world towards being a global citizen. I believe that it will make my university life more fun and engaging. It will also enable me to adapt well to surroundings and engage cross-culturally across various disciplines that I would like to pursue.

 Given my love for reading books whether fiction or nonfiction; they have inspired me to understand the world and have motivated me to build different perspectives about various scenarios and situations. In connection to my enchantment for reading books, I look forward to a university which is rich in its library.

The infrastructure of my University should build my curiosity of learning. If the campus has a long history, it would be interesting to know its evolution and how it has modernized over the years. The University campus should inspire me with hope to aspire for my dreams to “reach for the stars”. 

Apart from having a huge campus embraced with technology and nature, I do look forward to the cafeterias and food franchises. Since food is something that we all crave for, I feel it is important to have cafeterias that serve good and healthy food and drinks so it can create an engaging and creative environment.

In addition to the unending activities that I have listed, the arts have always intrigued me. I have always seen them as a way of communication whether it is through a painting or in a form of drama, it’s something that I look forward to have in my University. I have played quite a few roles in my school and would love to continue doing so in my university as it will keep me connected in the life I had in past and will also help me to engage with a variety of people who have an interest in the same field.

With all of it said, I would continue to have unstoppable dreams and love to acquire more interests as I go through university regime. So, as of now these are the main things that I envision in my dream university and I hope I have been able to transport you to my perspective of my ideal university.

About the author of this post - 

Varsha was born on June 6th 2003 in Chennai. When she was one and half years old, she moved to Singapore with her parents. Varsha is a student at Global Indian International School where she is currently doing her IB program. Her interests are singing, dancing, tennis and she is also has a brown belt in the Japanese martial art form of Aikido. Varsha’s academic interest is in Psychology and she wishes to pursue it in the near future. 

Sunday, June 21, 2020

International student studying, or planning to study in Australia amidst the COVID crisis?

International student studying, or planning to study in Australia amidst the COVID crisis? Here’s our advice.

Disclaimer: the COVID 19 situation is continually evolving, new cases, slackening of restrictions, global events can change everything within the blink of an eye. Please be cautious about making large decisions and taking drastic actions.

 Image credit: ABC

So you’re an international student, you’re either planning to study, or currently studying in Australia. Without doubt, just like the rest of us, you’ve been hit hard by the global pandemic. The first thing to remember, is that just like any other setback, this will pass. It might take weeks, months or up to a year for things to return to normalcy, but rest assured they’ll get there.
Take a deep breath, tell yourself “it’s going to be ok,” and then plan out your course of action with a clear head and a calm demeanour.
As of mid-June, there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, Australia has all but brought the virus under control. Community transmission is almost non-existent, and the number of active cases has dropped recently. Australia is gradually easing restrictions to match. As of March 19th, Australia has been closed to all international travel, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not optimistic; with his words on the matter being:
“I can't see international travel occurring anytime soon, the risks there are obvious.”

As bleak as the initial outlook, hope is not lost for the return of international travel this year. Prime Minister Morrison announced his intention to allow the return of international students in July, “in a very controlled setting.” The Regional Universities Network, along with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian are spearheading an initiative to return international students to regional universities that have been financially impacted by COVID restrictions.

If you would consider transferring to a regional university, away from a major city, there may be an opportunity for you to resume your study sooner.
Prime Minister Morrison’s description of a  “controlled setting”  most likely implies that the number of students allowed to return to major city universities in July will be limited.
Living in regional Australia is not for everyone, but for those with a keen sense of adventure, and a tough spirit, it may be one of the best decisions you could ever make.  Institutions such as Charles Darwin, Southern Cross and James Cook University have campuses in Australia’s less popular, more wild locales.