They say your study years are the happiest of your life – but, of course, that largely depends on where you’re studying. La Trobe student Zoe Mathes shares five things that make our Melbourne Campus at Bundoora such a fantastic place to live and learn.
1. Excellent courses and teaching staff
Tertiary education is an investment in your future – and, as with any investment, it’s important to make sure it’s a sound one. Zoe, who is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Applied Science / Masters of Dietetic Practice, says the quality of the courses and the chance to learn from industry-leaders are what initially drew her to La Trobe.
‘I knew I wanted to study here because the course content was interesting and relevant. The opportunity to have industry experts lecturing me and to be able to complete placements in teaching hospitals was really appealing,’ she says.
‘The lecturers and teaching staff are really lovely – they provide great support to students and are willing to meet with you after class if you need extra help.’
2. The student spaces and world-class facilities
La Trobe’s multi-million-dollar research and teaching facilities are designed to help students achieve their full academic potential, while the study spaces and common areas support a more informal approach to learning and socialising.
‘The Melbourne Campus itself has a lot to offer, with great outdoor spaces for students to enjoy and fantastic teaching facilities,’ says Zoe. ‘There are lots of places to hang out with friends, whether it’s for a coffee or a group assignment. There are cafes, rooms in the library, or study spaces throughout most buildings that students can use.’
3. The Sports Centre
Getting regular exercise can help you stay on top of your academic game by improving sleep, reducing stress, and boosting mood, immunity, memory and even intelligence. To help make it easier for students to reap the physical and mental benefits of working up a sweat, there is an excellent sports centre conveniently located on campus.
‘The sports centre provides discounted memberships to La Trobe students and has a fully equipped gym, 25m swimming pool, squash courts, tennis courts and more,’ says Zoe. ‘And because it’s on campus, I can go before or after class without having to travel far.’
This accessibility to sporting and exercise facilities is important to keep students healthy and stimulated, both mentally and physically.
4. The support networks
Coming to university can be a big adjustment, particularly for students who are juggling work and study, or for those who are living away from their families, perhaps for the first time. La Trobe offers a number of services and programs that can provide extra assistance – be it financial, legal or emotional – to help struggling students.
Zoe says La Trobe’s Aspire Program, which recognises and rewards community service leaders and volunteers, was invaluable in helping her get into her dream course.
‘The Aspire Program allowed me to gain an early conditional offer based upon previous community contributions, reducing my ATAR requirements and providing support throughout my Year 12 exams,’ she says.
As a student who lived on campus, Zoe says she benefitted from campus residents’ support.
‘The Accommodation Services team provides support to all residents through things such as the Textbook Borrowing Scheme (so you don’t have to buy your textbooks), and are able to provide assistance with receiving financial and counselling help,’ she says.
‘They also offer leadership opportunities to residents, as well as incredible Outbound adventures, including snorkelling, fishing, skiing, trips to Uluru and many more.’
5. Being part of a community
Whether you’re passionate about politics, human or animal rights, or even Quidditch, there are bound to be other people at university who share your interests. If you’re looking for an easy way to meet like-minded people, Zoe suggests joining a sports club or society.
‘You can make heaps of friends this way, and they always have events such as balls or fundraisers that are lots of fun,’ she says. ‘It’s also a great opportunity to try something new.
‘The Eagle Bar and Eyrie Bistro are also lovely places for students to catch up with friends for a meal, play a game of pool or attend a student event.’
For those living on campus, there are plenty of ways to meet and make lifelong friends.
‘Each college has their own common space for residents to talk with friends, watch a movie or play a game of table tennis,’ says Zoe. ‘It was a great way to meet friends and socialise with people I might not have met because they weren’t in my course.’
If you’re still not sure if La Trobe’s Melbourne Campus is the right place for you, Zoe has one final piece of advice.
‘Go to an Experience La Trobe or Open Day. Both are great opportunities to experience the campus, take a tour and see what it has to offer.’