RMIT graduates share how their Foundation Studies experience helped them transition to Melbourne and provided support for their university studies.
Keishini Seneviratna: My name is Keishini Seneviratna, but everyone calls me Keish. I am originally from Sri Lanka, I was born there, but I was raised in Dubai the United Emirates. Arab Emirates sorry and I pretty much completed High School there.
Agusty Aguna Aditya Jaya: I am Agusty Aguna Aditya Jaya, that’s my full name, just call me Adit.
Tawanda Chirau: My name is Tawanda Chirau, I came from Zimbabwe, that was in 2007, that’s when I started the Foundation Studies course, and ever since I have been at RMIT, for almost 7 years now.
Keish: While I was in high School I was thinking about what I wanted to do for the future, where I wanted to go for university and I felt like I had to travel abroad. I decided I’d do it in RMIT because I did a lot of research into how I could help myself get a career in the future and RMIT has the Industry Learning experience year. So that was a standout and I convinced my parents and I said “I definitely want to do that” and the way I could go about doing that was through Foundation Studies, So that just completed it, it was really easy.
Adit: Cultural wise, I found it a bit different, well, not really a bit, quite different to the one that I have back home. And, there was a bit of homesickness, it made me homesick a little bit but after 8 months of Foundation Studies of course that was fine, I was fine.
Tawanda: Being at RMIT because it’s such a central university in terms of it being in the city and also I find that it’s quite diverse in terms of being multicultural so I found it quite easy because you could associate with other people that were in the program or coming into Australia at the same time. You sort of felt the same level and you can pretty much try and explore Melbourne together.
Keish: The teachers at Foundation Studies really, really helped because they tell you all these different things about what Melbourne is like and everyone else is new around you so they are also experiencing it at the same time which is pretty good. But, it didn’t take that long to settle in, it was really good.
Adit: Teaching Wise – First of all, it was a different language so I found it a bit of a mishap for me, but after a while the teaching method was just fine in Foundation, I could catch up, of course and get good grades.
Tawanda: If you didn’t understand, the good thing is they’d actually do a one on one approach with you and make sure you that you quite understand the foundations of the topic, and then you can sort of build yourself to the level of understanding that you’re expected to be at. It was, teaching wise, pretty good. I mean compared to even some of my university teachers; I would put the Foundation Studies teachers up there as well.
Keish: It just helped to transition into the actual study life. You’re doing all these essays and assignments and once you get to university you realise it’s pretty similar and you feel like you are already ahead of everyone else because you have already experienced it. Whereas, everyone else who’s starting university is like “oh.. I am just finish high school, I don’t know what I am doing, how do you write this, how do you reference this.”
Adit: Probably if I had chosen to go straight to undergraduate studies without taking Foundation Studies, I would probably struggle with my English, that’s one thing. Catching up with the schedule in Australian studies. There was time management, self-management study especially.
Tawanda: Coming from Foundation Studies, I had good grades, so after Foundation, I did a diploma in biotech, so from biotech, diploma in biotech I moved to a double degree chemical Engineering and biotech.
Adit: After I finished my Foundation Studies, I continued my studies in undergraduate. That was in aerospace engineering. It took me four years to get my degree and I continued my study to postgraduate, or PHD, with a scholarship
Keish: A lot of the key aspects of what you study in the university and in your masters as well is based on what you study in Foundation Studies, so learning the simple things like how to reference, how to write a good report, or the foundation of economics even. Some things you wouldn’t always learn back at high school but you don’t get that just before you jump in to university, so Foundation Studies helped bridge the gap, and just- you’ve always got that core knowledge with you, and that definitely came from Foundation Studies.
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