Source: The University of New England
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The University of New England: The Philippine dream in Australia

If you choose to live and learn in Sydney, then just imagine walking down Sydney’s Church Street and it’s as if you’re travelling the world. Get a bubble tea from Gong Cha as you check out a musical or Shakespeare play at Riverside Theatre or a contemporary art exhibition telling hyper-local stories. Catch up with friends at Estelita’s Filipino Kusina over sisig, lumpia and garlic rice. Walk it off along the river, where you’ll see the mangroves, wetlands, remnant bushland and historical spots dotted all the way. This part of Sydney is buzzing on weekends with the city’s professional and philanthropic classes filling its bars and restaurants to enjoy cocktails and each other’s company.

And that’s what you get from just one street. The splendours of Sydney, from its mighty migrant population to paradise-like parks, charming cafes and world-class boutiques, are seemingly endless. Although these may be thousands of kilometres away, they are within reach for any Filipino with a dream.

As with many success stories, it all starts with a good education – like the kind offered by The University of New England, which has a city campus located right on Church Street, Parramatta. UNE is the only Australian public university awarded the maximum five stars for Overall Experience 17 years in a row by the Good Universities Guide.

From your first day at UNE to your graduation, you’ll have a community with you every step of the way. UNE Sydney is nestled in Parramatta, one of the city’s most vibrant and diverse areas. The premium suburb is home to 235,000 people (according to 2016 data) of which about 4,800 are of Filipino descent. Events and festivals are frequent, bringing people together and connecting them to home on Lunar New Year, Parramatta Nights and Australia Day.

 Source: The University of New England

Source: The University of New England

For a unique Australian experience, consider UNE Armidale

Those who seek a small inland city will find it at UNE Armidale, where the Filipino spirit of solidarity is just as strong. Here, the views are a different kind of breathtaking. Picture going to class and spending your weekends with new and old friends at spectacular waterfalls, gorges, world-heritage national parks and cool-climate vineyards. Or catching something inspirational going on in the region’s museums, galleries, stages and screens. After experiencing world-class culture and World Heritage wilderness, indulge in award-winning cool climate wines and craft beers – the perfect pairing for locally-grown produce and of course, your sisigs and adobos.

Life on campus is just as dynamic. Social programmes in collaboration with organisations let international students build a sense of place and participation within their wider community. After making a difference, head to themed parties held in college, formal dinners, barbecues, trivia nights, and the annual College Ball. To stay active, there are sports, competitive and otherwise, like soccer, water polo, ultimate frisbee, netball, touch football and many more, to join. Musicals and talent nights are where students can perform and show off their interests, be it in public speaking, theatre, arts and crafts, and many more.

When these fulfilling days are done, it’s time for a well-earned rest. Here, international students can build a home away from home in a range of properties including units, townhouses, and share houses. Most students living off-campus choose to live in share houses or apartments. Students need to be aware that during the four to six weeks before trimester commencement there is a much higher demand for housing and they need take into account the extra time it may take to find suitable accommodation. Whichever you choose, the rent is relatively inexpensive compared to major cities and there are limited modes of transport to get you from town to campus in no time.

There are flexible on-campus living options too. Choose from traditional catered accommodation, independent living, or a combination of both. Each is complete with support and mentorship, an instant network of friends and support, a variety of social and cultural events and clubs, community projects, sport, and professional experiences.

Take the first step – Future fit your life.

University of New England

Source: University of New England

Applying to UNE is easy. The process is quick and simple. If you run into any hurdles, you can find an agent near you to help you out. There’s no need to take any additional English proficiency test either – the English Medium of Instruction (MOI) Certificate is accepted and your past studies in English will also be considered.

But applying is only the start. Established in 1938, UNE knows and has seen that anything is possible if international students get the right support at the right time. To this end, UNE has designed its degrees to be affordable, thanks to a significant bursary. This means Filipinos will get a 30% reduction in the annual tuition fee – for example, a Bachelor of Nursing student in 2023 will pay 21,067 Australian dollars.

It’s a sum that looks small for what Filipino students are set to get in return. In the CANSTAR Blue’s Best-rated universities in Australia (2022) awards, UNE was awarded five-star ratings for overall satisfaction, quality of education received, teaching staff, student support and learning resources. UNE also ranked as the No. 3 public university in Australia — as well as the No. 1 NSW university — for Quality of Entire Educational Experience (undergraduate students) in the latest QILT Student Experience Survey. The QILT (Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching) Student Experience Survey is funded by the Australian government and is the most comprehensive survey of current higher education students in Australia.

What these accolades translate to is recognition. Whether it’s a Bachelor of Nursing (Graduate Nursing), Bachelor of Social Science, Master of Business Administration (International), or Master of Social Work (Qualifying), each is a ticket that opens doors to great career opportunities. Recruiters know and understand what it means, i.e. proof of having the kinds of skills, knowledge and experience that are in demand at workplaces today. Hence why UNE graduates have excellent employment outcomes — in the 2023 edition of the Good Universities Guide, UNE was awarded five-star ratings in the Graduate Salary category. Undergraduate students also rate it five stars for graduate employment in agriculture, built environment, business and management, computing and information systems, creative arts, environmental studies, health services and support, law, mathematics, para-legal studies, psychology, sciences, and social work.

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