Studying veterinary bioscience online at the University of Adelaide
Meet Christina, a University of Adelaide veterinary bioscience student studying remotely from Hong Kong.
After a successful first year studying for a Bachelor of Science (Veterinary Bioscience) at the University of Adelaide, Christina was loving life as a student in Adelaide.
But in June 2020, a family emergency and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic meant Christina had to return to Hong Kong, not knowing if and when she’d be able to return to campus life in Adelaide. Thankfully, the University of Adelaide made sure Christina could sit her exams and continue her second-year studies remotely from Hong Kong.
Study Adelaide spoke to Christina about her experiences studying from afar and how she’s keeping in touch with her university community back in Adelaide.
How did you come to study in Adelaide?
I came here four years ago after I finished Year 11 in Hong Kong to take the Foundations Studies course at the University of Adelaide College.
I have an uncle in Adelaide. He’s best friends with my dad and told him Adelaide is a nice place to study. It’s quite relaxing here, and the slow pace is a big difference from Hong Kong.
I chose the University of Adelaide because it’s the only university in Adelaide that offers a veterinary bioscience degree. I did apply to a university in Perth as well, but I chose Adelaide because of my uncle and because the University of Adelaide is part of the Group of Eight leading research unis.
Why did you want to study veterinary bioscience?
I love animals! I love watching animal documentaries on YouTube and decided I want to be a vet to investigate the lives of animals and help them.
I’m most interested in equine (horses) and wildlife animals. I’ve done placements in Adelaide and Hong Kong, working with wildlife animals. I find this work challenging and want to learn and study new things to help with wildlife conservation.
Tell us what it was like studying in Adelaide before the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first year, I lived in student accommodation right near the North Terrace campus. I studied at North Terrace and got the university’s shuttle bus from North Terrace to their specialist veterinary Roseworthy campus once a week.
In my second year, I moved into an apartment in Chinatown and lived by myself.
How did you make friends, and what did you do outside of your study time?
I made some friends before I came to Adelaide at a pre-departure seminar in Hong Kong. I got to meet other people coming here for Foundation Studies.
Then I made lots of new friends in my course and living in my student accommodation. We liked to go to the beach or Harbour Town for shopping. And we’d gather for dinner in Chinatown.
I joined the university Badminton Club and spent a lot of time at the gym and swimming pool.
How did things change for you in 2020?
Because of COVID-19 and a family emergency back home, I returned to Hong Kong in June 2020. I knew I might not be able to come back to Australia that year because of COVID-19 border closures.
What happened with your studies when you had to go back to Hong Kong?
I left Adelaide right before my exams, but the university let me study and sit my exams remotely so I could finish the semester.
When the second semester started, I continued most of my courses remotely with an alternative assessment and online exams. I could do some of the practicals as remote simulations. My teachers helped by giving me worksheets and resources online. I’m looking forward to going back to Adelaide as some of my courses need a face-to-face skills assessment.
How have your lecturers helped you continue with your remote studies?
My teachers have been good at keeping in touch. They’ve recorded laboratory classes for me and checked in to make sure I have what I need to write my report, even though I couldn’t be there in the lab.
I can email them any questions, and they get back to me quickly. I’ve felt really supported by their help with alternative assessments and making sure I have everything I need.
What do you like best about studying remotely?
There are a lot of advantages to studying remotely, except for laboratories and practicals.
Because they record all the lectures and tutorials, I can watch them whenever I want. This means I can plan my study schedule in a more efficient and accessible way.
What are your plans to help you keep in touch with your university community?
Unfortunately, I’ve had to defer my studies because many of the courses in my current semester must be face-to-face and won’t work as an online simulation.
In the meantime, I’m applying to work as a Peer Assisted Study Session (PASS) leader. I can do the PASS training remotely next semester. Then I can work with students and share my experiences studying remotely, so I’m still part of my university community.
What would you say to other students who are studying remotely?
The key to studying remotely is to really know how to plan your study schedule because everything is up to you.
I also recommend you jot down all the deadlines and things you must do. When you study remotely, you don’t have the lecturer reminding you of deadlines, so you need to be mindful of the notices from your professors and keep track of dates.
I know remote study is a new challenge for students all over the world, and I hope students who are studying remotely can work hard and try their best.