As a non-traditional student, this is the first time I travelled abroad to study in Melbourne, a Masters in a totally different field compared to my Bachelor Degree, which was completed via distance learning. I was 18 years old at the time and I spent all day long worrying about whether the universities in Australia would consider my applications. However, it is my fortune to meet Joshua, and with his skills, all four institutes that we applied for, accepted me.
However, the true adventure was only about to begin. I did not only had to worry about the preparation of going to study abroad, but I also had to study ahead of the program as there are challenge exams where I can gain exemptions for my foundation subjects.
On the other hand, when I arrived at La Trobe University for the first time, all the enrolment & registration procedures went very smooth due to their clear and concise directions. This comforted me a lot. In two days, before I even get a chance to look at their study materials, I had to sit the challenge exams, fortunately the invigilators and examiners were very friendly, which gave me some confidence. At the end, I received three exemptions out of four foundation subjects.
The first Lecture I attended was Statistics for Business and Finance, where nobody could understand what the Lecturer was talking about, because it is way too deep. Even Senior Financial Analysts complained about the difficulty of this subject. However, this is where I built friendship with some of the best people I have met so far.
After noticing that failure is just around the corner, we decided to sit together in the library in a collaborative work room and studied our hearts out. We often had to go late into the night because we also had to deal with a 5,000 words individual assignment full of alien statistics and mathematical outputs. Yet, there are four subjects in a semester. During that time I feared that other classmates, which are at least a decade older than me, would reject me because I was too young. But it turned out the exact opposite. They did not just invite me to their group, but they also took good care of me.
The shocking fact was that majority of my classmates were high caliber people, including Accountants, Quantitative Analysts, Directors, Entrepreneurs and even Barristers. I gained much more from their experience and sharing compared to textbooks, even though there are at least three of these assigned for each subject. Moreover, the difficulties of the remaining subjects were even harder. However, we did not notice time passed as we gained so much fun and warmth despite all the endeavors and sufferings. Overtime, we began to hang around outside the university, loitering in the Central Business District looking for dinner and we basically visited every tourist destination around Victoria. Besides meeting people in my course, I also became a formal member of a local Christian Church. As a new Church, I joined their first gathering. About a month later, I was baptized and became a volunteer co-worker. Everyone over there was exceptionally friendly and from time to time I feel like Melbourne is my second home. There is never a minute where I wouldn’t savor.
Finally, all three semesters finished, in a blink of an eye, where a year and a half felt like a month and a half. I caught up with the people I knew for the last time and we reflected on the past. I scared myself with the amount of things and achievements that I gained through this adventurous trip, where there is no moment where I wouldn’t enjoy. If you were to expect the similar experience, let me urge you to prepare for this emotion, leaving home is difficult, but leaving your study place is even harder. There would be an indescribable joy, whenever you think back at your experience, for the rest of your life.
Yours sincerely,Adam Hung