Prior to Australia, I was unaware of what the UNSW campus was like. I had tried doing all the research and gathering information from the school’s websites, but it was hard to actually see if students participated much. Once I got here, I realized most Australian students do not live on campus, let alone participate in anything related to the school. Unlike in the states, they are not required to live on campus the first two years. So initially it was hard for me to even meet any natives, I was surrounded by a lot of international students.
This campus is huge compared to Drexel. It contains numerous shopping areas, a grocery store, 5 food courts, and a strip of different types of restaurants. It has been so cool to be able to have access to anything I can want right outside my door. Sometimes its not the best when I am eating ice cream and pastries all the time, since it’s close, but overall worth it.
Once on campus, I signed up for their main student hub, which was ARC. This club provided a lot of discounts to restaurants and it was responsible for a lot of the events on campus. It was not really an organization that gave many opportunities to meet its members and do things, since much of the group were just one-time volunteers and all the events were serving the larger population for a short period of time. For example, they do a lot of tent activities, so you go to their tent to get quick food in between classes. This was very beneficial because I was always getting good food and Aussies love their barbecues.
By joining this club, I was exposed to a lot of news updates and activities that opened different doors for me. For example, they advertised an outdoors group at one of their events, which I ended up joining in order to explore the surrounding areas and meet people. They also held a raffle at one point with a travel agency and I won a free trip to Whitsundays (one, if not the, most beautiful place in the world, with white sand beaches forming different patterns, and crystal clear waters).
I had never really won any raffle my entire life, especially a free trip. Winning this proved to me that its worth it to attend and sign up for most things you see if they interest you because who knows, maybe you will be the lucky winner. A lot of students bypass things they do not believe they have a chance at, but you never know.