Caroline Collom

Caroline has gone to the University of Melbourne to study Bachelor of Fine Art.

“I decided to go to university in Australia because I wanted a challenge. I’d never thought of it as an option but when I heard about Study Options and how easy it was to apply to Australian universities, I thought it was worth giving it a go, just to see whether I could get in.

“I had always wanted to go to Australia and travel, but combining that with doing a degree seemed a more sensible thing to do – as well as a great opportunity to get some international experience. I thought this would really benefit me and make my CV stand out.

“I wanted to see a couple of the universities that I’d applied to in person, to see where I might be studying, so I went and traveled the east coast and had a fantastic time. I met the most amazing people and am still friends with many of them, which made deciding to stay and study much easier!

“I am studying Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Melbourne. One of the main reasons I decided to take my place at university here was Melbourne itself – it’s a brilliant city and constantly buzzing. It has a great art and music scene, which is very important to me, plus it is easy to get around. It felt like home very quickly.

“I study minutes away from the central business district and there are only 30 people in my area of specialty, which is painting. We all have our own studio to work in and to experiment in within our practice, which is the main part of my course. I also do critical theory, which is history of art, and have to write essays for that. This is really interesting and the lecturers are really well organised. We are also taught how to become successful artists and tricks of the industry. All our tutors are practicing artists and are very supportive.

“I live about 20 minutes from the university. The train link into the city is really easy and you get to learn the trains and trams fairly quickly. I am renting a room in a house with two other people who are lovely. This was easy to arrange and it’s nice to have friends outside of my course as well as having people at uni to hang out with. Everyone on my course is lovely. We regularly go to galleries and go out in the city which is always fun – there is always something to do in Melbourne.

“I don’t find there’s much difference between Australia and England apart from the occasional word for something being different – and the weather! Melbourne is very multicultural, so there are lots of international students who are in the same boat as you – this has made the transition very easy. I always seem to forget how big Australia is, though – you could fit the whole of Europe in it – so you can’t just ‘pop’ to places, you have to plan more than you do at home.

“When I am not at uni I try and do things in Victoria. I can work on a student visa so I do that to get some money together. I have flown to other parts of Australia to meet up with people I met on my travels and still have lots more things to see over the duration of my course, which I look forward to planning! It’s so nice being somewhere you don’t know as you constantly have new things to do and explore which is really exciting.

Caroline tells us how the Study Options team supported her through the application process...

“All of this would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the Study Options team, they were fantastic. They made it all possible and were constantly there for me when I was trying to decide where to go. They literally do everything, all you have to do is decide where you want to go and tell them, they submit all the paperwork, they let you know how you have got on and then you have to decide on a university. It really is that simple! I can’t thank them enough and can only advise other people to give it a shot. It’s so easy; you have nothing to lose. Plus, what could be more exciting than spending your degree somewhere new, where during your holidays you get to do the traveling you always wanted to do? If you want a challenge and to do something to distinguish yourself from other UK graduates, then graduate with an international experience. Thank you Study Options!”