The bad and the good of studying at Macquarie University
My experience in Australia has come with mixed feelings. I have been blessed with the opportunity to see some amazing places that were so unique and beautiful. I have sampled a taste of the Australian culture and way of life, but regrettably I do not feel as if I got a true abroad experience. I think coming to this part of the world holds so much potential and opportunity, however the schooling aspect of this place has largely prevented me from enjoying the area as much as it should be. The workload is much more demanding and frankly near impossible to succeed in, especially when I compare it to some of my friends’ in other abroad locations.
I haven’t really learned anything here, but am getting shattered as far as my GPA goes. Grading here is different. It seems that students merely desire to pass, and teachers barely give passing grades. Earning a 70 or above here takes the equivalent effort of trying to get a 120 percent back at USD. I know school comes first, but if I knew what the schooling would be like here I would have stayed at USD honestly. I am on scholarship and I can’t afford to have this semester be not only a virtual waste, but a detriment to the GPA I worked so hard to keep high; as a biochem major it has been hard enough.
Macquarie University is just a poor destination in my eyes and many of the students out here seem to agree. We are making the best of it and enjoying each others’ company, but are pretty isolated in the middle of nowhere with little connection to the other students who consist of native Australians and many international students from Asian countries. Only 2000 kids live on campus, all of them Asian or American. The rest are commuter who live nearly two hours away so many of the Australian students don’t even come to school more than one day a week, making it hard to make new friends.
I knew that a lot of people had warned me about the drinking culture associated with this program, but it just made me sad to know that that is literally all you have to do a lot of the time. Hopefully something can change with the program here because I would not want future students studying here to share in the same experience we have had.