Students' gateway to Campus

Kayla Hellaby

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Master of Communication

Why Deakin off-campus studies?
I’m 25-years-old and, despite being an Australian, I’ve spent the last few years in Minnesota, USA, furthering my education.  I have two Bachelor’s degrees and knew I wanted to do one of my Masters at an Australian university, so online was my only option. Being an off-campus student also allows me to work while I study. I chose to study at Deakin because it was the only place that had the writing program that covered everything I wanted to learn and gave me the chance to decide what I wanted to do.

My biggest challenge has been having such a time difference. For example, if I do my study at 11.30am on a Friday, it’s really about 3.00am Saturday morning for my lecturers, so often I have to wait another two days to get a response if I need help.

Since I started working it’s been hard to bring my attention back to my studies, so I ended up taking  my studies to work on the weekends and have gotten the most work done there.  Juggling my time with family/friends, studying and work is all about compromise, but in the long run no-one really misses out. I just have to commit time to each.

Successes and aspirations
My biggest success has been just keeping going and getting my assignments done! I have done more than I expected and have been able to get decent grades.

I don’t really know what I intend to do when I finish studying this degree. I work with kids so being able to use what I’ve learnt to advance my job is really what is important to me.I have two Bachelor’s so people say I now need to get two Master’s then two PhDs!

Study tips and advice for new off-campus students
The Deakin technology is the best I’ve used during my studies. The discussion threads can get confusing but I love using it anyway. I recommend visiting the class websites at least once a day, because then you have intentionally stepped into the study world, even if all you do is read a discussion thread or two.

To new students I would say don’t stress out, have fun with your studies. Get to know the people on the other side of the discussion threads; they can really help you out. Also try to get to know your lecturers a little bit; when they know who you are, they get to know how you think and study and can help you better. You don’t have to do it alone!

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25th May 2011