Maksim Valetov

Maksim is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney

Maksim Valetov

"Having studied in the UK in the international boarding school for four years I received offers from universities in London but decided to choose Australia. There are several factors that contributed to this choice, but the main ones being: desire to explore new country, experience better climate and simply personal preference of starting something new in a new place.

"As for everybody, the university choice is a significant life decision, and when I was looking at the universities I was of course keeping my eyes on rating, location, courses, nearby accommodations and various facilities. The application process went very smooth, Study Options did most of the work for me and did it to the best of their abilities. I only had to choose universities and degree direction, the rest – sending applications, contacting universities on your behalf, they did themselves. For that I am very thankful.

"Choosing university is, essentially, choosing new lifestyle and when it comes to something new there is always more questions than answers. Study Options were very helpful, always respond quickly, provide helpful relevant information in a friendly manner. I knew that I wanted to do Economics and Finance related degree and Study Options have greatly helped me by providing all relevant information resources about the courses. I found that my university have fairly detailed and easy to use website that allowed me to settle with the general degree choices quickly.

"When I arrived, the sunny and hot weather welcomed me, which is luckily a typical weather here. Previous experience of living in an international boarding school and communicating with people from different nationalities made my transition/settling in process seamless for me. People are very welcoming and friendly.

"Getting to my accommodation was nice and easy. I would recommend applying to accommodation as soon as you can, I applied almost 6 months prior my arrival and this way I was able to book the studio of my choice that I am happy with.

"Depending from what background you are coming from, you may find that certain things are more expensive here, therefore it is very common for students to study and work. Having a job also helps you to make friends, switch your mind from studying and make some extra cash to go out. But do not expect that it is easy to find a job here, be ready to break through the 'paradox' where you need to have experience to work but need work to have experience.

"At first, like with everything that is new, things were confusing, getting around the huge campus, finding out the timetable was a tricky task, but university’s learning management system was very helpful. Additionally, during the orientation week there were many different fairs and events which were aimed at meeting new people and getting familiar with the campus, courses, societies, etc. I suggest not to underestimate how useful these events can be. Events like these are the best place to make friends because I personally discovered that it is not easy to make good friends in classes/lectures.

"My university has exceptional studying facilities, most of the buildings are new and equipped well with modern technology, this certainly makes studying more motivating and pleasant.

"Universities and schools are very different, if from school you are used to having detailed feedback on your homework, it won’t be the case here. In fact, be prepared to do most of the studies by yourself, lectures give you a brief on a topic, you must know how to and where to study the topic.

"Of course, university isn’t all about studying (don’t say it to your parents), Sydney has many places to go to at any time of the day to satisfy every possible preference. Be prepared that the majority of bars and clubs may close earlier than you think.

"I know that things that I’ve said so far are very general and there is a high chance that I did not cover what you wanted to know. There is some beauty to not knowing what’s coming and I encourage you not to be afraid of making a good choice and exploring, at the end if everything was known life would have been boring."

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