Choosing where to study is about more than just a course – you’re choosing a lifestyle. While many people gravitate towards the city, some students find a regional centre has too many benefits to ignore.
Amrica Hall started her study life in at a university in Melbourne but when she moved to Warrnambool to be with her partner she moved across to Deakin. ‘I did a year of commerce in Melbourne and then finished my degree in Warrnambool,’ she explains.
She hasn’t looked back. For Amrica, studying and starting her career in a regional area has offered boundless benefits – and she urges anyone considering a similar move to go for it.
A relaxed pace of life
Having experienced both a regional and a metro study environment, Amrica is well placed to compare the two. ‘For one, there’s no traffic in Warrnambool,’ she says. ‘That’s a massive plus in my book.’
When you’re not wasting time on your commute it leaves plenty of time for other activities whether it’s a part time job, team sports, fishing or surfing.
Amrica counts the relaxed pace of life and the sense of community as significant perks. ‘I think the overall lifestyle is a bit more cruisy. The people are more genuine and somehow you meet everyone because you come across them a lot more regularly than in Melbourne.’
Alistair McCosh, Director of the Warrnambool campus, says this hospitable vibe is deliberate. ‘We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, welcoming and safe place to achieve your academic goal of a world class degree and from a university that is now ranked in the top 1% of world universities.’
He lists the financial benefits of a regional move as another positive. ‘Living in a regional location like Warrnambool will save you thousands of dollars over the life of your degree with accommodation being significantly less than in big city locations.’
Amrica agrees. ‘I ended up getting a share house with my partner and a friend. It was cheap compared to what I was paying in Melbourne and I was living in a better house.’
We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, welcoming and safe place to achieve your academic goal of a world class degree and from a university that is now ranked in the top 1% of world universities.
Director of Deakin Warrnambool Campus
A supported way to learn
Amrica found the regional learning environment to be vastly different to what she was used to. ‘In Melbourne, the classes and lectures were huge. In Warrnambool there were smaller class sizes and everything was more one-on-one.’
More than just an observation, this had a huge impact on Amrica’s study experience. ‘I found that in Melbourne I never went to the lectures because I couldn’t concentrate but I always went to lectures in Warrnambool. The lecturer would talk to you and answer any questions directly which was great.’
I think when you’re in Warrnambool you don’t just feel like another number. You get to know your teachers and they care about how you are going whereas in Melbourne I didn’t know any of my teachers. I didn’t associate with them.
In Amrica’s experience, smaller classes made the course more hands on. ‘At a bigger uni you are getting told all this stuff but you can’t really interact – you can’t say ‘I don’t get that can you repeat it?’
Abundant local career opportunities
Alistair McCosh believes the quality of teaching at Deakin Warrnambool is part of what creates a unique experience for students. ‘We have dedicated and passionate teachers, many who have worked in industry and business and all who aspire to prepare each of our students for jobs of the future.’
Amrica agrees. ‘I’m not necessarily an outgoing or a striving student so to have more of that one-on-one attention did wonders for me. My teachers coached me on which career path I should choose.’
After graduating from a Bachelor of Commerce in 2016, Amrica has settled in the region and is now working in HR for SunPharma. Amrica found the local opportunities to be abundant. ‘Everyone I went to uni with found a job and only one of my friends moved away – the rest all found jobs locally.’
Friends who studied in metro regions reported a different experience. ‘When my friends in Melbourne were applying for jobs they were competing with a lot more graduates. It seemed like it was harder for them to get a job due to the sheer amount of people applying.’
When asked what she’d advise a friend who was considering studying regionally, Amrica says she would encourage them to take the leap. Regional lifestyle suited her well and her career has been thriving since graduation. ‘You get the same course but you get more one-on-one interaction with the teachers. I’m all for it.’