Student interview with Igli subashi
Why are you studying at UOW College? What will you study at UOW?
At UOW College, I have been studying Foundation Studies Program since June 2020, and in March 2021, I will start 'Bachelor of Medical and Health Science' at UOW.
Why did you choose UOW and UOW College?
I come from a small country in Europe called Albania, and my dream has always been to study abroad. I wanted a host country that would be friendly, with good weather and where I could study in English. Australia could fulfill my conditions, and it was more likely to provide me the student life I have always dreamt of. After some research, I decided to choose the University of Wollongong because it is one of the top 1% of universities globally, one of the most modern universities worldwide, and highly recommended for international students. After choosing UOW, I realised that I had to study at UOW College as the best pathway to UOW that could help me build the foundation skills needed to study at UOW and improve my English language skills.
Tell me about your online learning experience with us – what are some positives so far and what are some challenges you have experienced?
Before starting to study at UOW College, I was concerned about studying online. It was the first year studying in Australia, and I had to study online. When I started Foundation Studies Program, I realised that UOW college had provided their maximum for students to feel comfortable and not decrease their marks. Teachers at UOW college have made me feel comfortable to ask questions, ask for feedback, and even to talk about any problems that I would have not only in my assignments but also in my personal life. Due to my teachers’ support, I managed to push myself and achieve marks that I had not thought I could have. Furthermore, UOW College has provided students with many study facilities such as Studiosity, Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), and one to one consultation with teachers, resulting in me having better marks and being less stressed about my results. I also became a Student Mentor. Being a mentor has been such a good experience for me, especially when students that you are helping are grateful to you.
As for the challenges, one of my biggest challenges has been not being able to socialize. For me, a person who likes spending time and studying with his classmates, it was such a big problem. Another challenge I have encountered due to online classes is having difficulties in understanding the lectures and tutorials. In the beginning, this challenge is difficult to overcome but once you become familiar with online learning you can find what study methods are appropriate for you.
How did you overcome the challenges?
The first challenge was not meeting and socializing with my friends. Fortunately, teachers have allowed students to spend time together in the ‘break out room’ in zoom to discuss their group assignments or tutorial questions, leading to students knowing and helping each other. It has also allowed me to know some of my classmates in person and to keep in touch even after finishing College. The second challenge was understanding my lecturers or tutors in an online environment. To overcome this challenge, I tried to concentrate on my lectures/ tutorials as much as I could and ask questions when I did not understand something. Also, I have used study facilities provided by UOW College such as Studiosity, Peer Assisted Learning (PAL), and one to one consultation with my teachers that have made my online study experience much more effective and has made me understand lectures/ tutorials better.