by Hayley Farrugia
When it comes to choosing a university, whether it is at the end of Year 12 or enrolling later on in life, location is a prominent contributing factor. Regardless of how many people we ask, we are almost always swayed by the education and lifestyle opportunities that Australian cities have to offer.
But, have you considered that attending university in a rural or country town may have more advantages than you thought?
With the cut off date for main round university offers just around the corner, it can be an intimidating and life changing decision to find the best place for you to study. Let these 5 reasons help you along the decision making process:
- Affordable Cost of Living
Without a doubt, living has its costs – just ask your parents and friends that have attended university before you! Particularly in cities like Sydney or Melbourne, the average weekly-advertised rent in Sydney is $480, while in the regional town of Bathurst; it’s a median of $330 per week. This is a large contributing factor for the average ‘poor university student’ and their families.
- Personal Growth
When moving to a regional university, you aren’t likely to know many people attending your uni – regardless if you were originally from a regional area or not. Regional universities attract a diverse range of genuine, humble and creative personalities, allowing you to leave your high school cliques behind and create a fresh start for yourself without worrying about navigating the different social groups.
- Sense of Community
Regional universities, without a doubt, offer a greater sense of community. Throughout my experience at a regional university, there have been approximately 40 students in my cohort, allowing us to make connections and bond quickly during our time at university. It is likely that most students have moved away from home to attend a regional university, which also means that lots of students are likely to live on campus and are in the same boat as you!
- Intimate Learning Environment
A large advantage of attending a regional university is the smaller class sizes. Class sizes in major cities can contain up to hundreds of students crammed into lecture halls and tutorial spaces, which can be overwhelming and confronting for anyone, let alone first year students!
Lead researcher, David Zyngier, found that smaller class sizes in the first four years of school led to improved student engagement and less disruptive behaviour. This applies to smaller class sizes at regional universities, allowing students to develop relationships with tutors and lecturers, which can beneficial when asking for assistance.
- Hands On Learning Opportunities
With the smaller population of regional towns, comes a larger opportunity for hands-on learning experiences. The smaller class sizes allows students to engage closely with their communities, allowing them to actively participate in class discussions and practical activities to help enrich their learning. Less people also equals less competition for experience!
If you are currently a student studying the HSC, you probably don’t want any more information to remember. However, these 5 key points will be the only things that you will need to keep in the back of your mind during your process of elimination. Check this out for more ways to compare the regional with the regular!