Hi and welcome back to my blog, this time you will read about Andrada’s study experience in Australia. This amazing young girl is 17 years old, and she is in her second year at university. I am not going to spoiler anything else, and I will let her told you her story. 

Hi, Andrada can you tell my readers how did you end up in Australia? 
Hii Georgia!!|! My family and I moved to Australia because of my dad’s job.

How were your early years in school in Australia compared to Italy?
My early years in Australia were great fun, really! I completed my ESL program in 3 months, I had made many caring friends. School wise, my school always had events and fun activities going on and school trips. This made Year 6 (Elementary School) very enjoyable. 
In Italy, the school was not as fun. My School there gave us homework twice per week in year 5! Events occurred only a few times per year. Education in Italy was much less intuitive and interactive. 

How did the opportunity of starting the university at 16 has arisen? 
The opportunity of studying at university while I was still in Year 11 in high school, came about from my grades. My university emailed me and offered me a spot in studying 1 semester in whichever degree I wanted. I accepted the offer, and it was then that I began my Bachelor of Laws. The following year in Year 12 I completed my second semester at university. Meaning, as I graduated high school that year; I had already completed units from my degree. (In Australia to get a law degree you need to complete a total of 19 units and 5 elective units)

Did you find it challenging or overwhelming?
In all honesty, at times it was challenging to balance high school, university, having a casual job and to maintain a social life. What really helped me was managing my time and staying focused on why I wanted to achieve my goals. For example, my goal was to graduate high school because I would be the 1st person in my family to do it. I wanted to continue studying at university as it has always been my dream to become a lawyer and I wished to keep my job as it offered me the opportunity to support my studies and have some coin in my pocket.

How is the course that you are studying organized (lectures, exams, relationship with teachers)?
Bachelor of Laws at my university is organized with modules, lectures, readings, exams. 
We have 1 lecture per week per unit. The lecture Powerpoint slides are posted on our “StudyDesk” uni website 2 weeks before the lecture, but this highly depends on the lecturer; some post them for the entire semester and some 1 week before the lecture. The modules are “extended information booklets” with 1 module weekly containing 1 to 2 topics. Studying law, the lecturer gives us a lot of reading from the textbook, articles, and cases. This does sound overwhelming, but the university does offer a lot of support; for instance, we have Meet-Up Leaders who are students in their 2nd and 3rd-year law students helping 1st or 2nd year. They explain you concepts you may not understand, they provide advice and answer general questions. The lecturer is also available to help, they answer emails very quickly, or you can just walk into their office for a chat. Uni also provides academics to help you with your assignments, this does require a booking though.  
As for exams, generally 1 online test, 2 assignments, and 1 exam but this does change and vary depending on which unit you are studying. But its 4 items per unit every 6 semesters. Also, I forgot to mention that 1 unit lasts 1 semester. 

Is it expensive to study at an Australian university? 
Law is quite pricey, but it purely depends on what you want to study. The payment is based upon the cost of the individual units and however many units you are studying. 1 to 2 is for a part-time student, and 3 to 4 units are for a full-time student. Each unit has a set price, but sometimes some units are a little bit cheaper. The students have the option to pay upfront or to pay their degree off once they graduated, and have a job with an income of $51,957. This is called the Hecs. On their website, they also state that: “loan repayments are then made through the tax system. If you wanted to pay off your debt faster, you could make voluntary repayments, regardless of how much you earn.” 
If you are interested in Hecs, here is their link: https://www.studyassist.gov.au/help-loans/hecs-help

HOWEVER, international students or permanent residents’ students have to pay upfront because only Australian Citizens or New Zealand Special Category VIsa are eligible to apply for Hecs. 

Universities also offer different varieties of scholarships. Not all are based on grades, some depend are about age, lifestyle, interests, etc.

What will you do after you will finish your bachelor, a master or you will be able to work?

Once I finish my Bachelor of Laws, I am sure of wanting to find a job. Nevertheless, I am considering the option of working and studying part-time for my Masters. I have time to evaluate that, thankfully! 

What is your opinion about Australian universities based on your experience?
Based on my experience, Australian universities are wonderful. My university provided me with a 1 in a lifetime opportunity, it has supported me and currently it is allowing me to follow my dreams and turn them into reality. The good thing with Australian university education is also valued internationally.  I have made many international friends from all over the world who chose to come to study in Australia, and I also have friends who graduated in Australia and have jobs overseas. 
Andrada Kacso

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