Muriel Scholz moved from Katherine to begin studying a Bachelor of Science at CDU and has chosen to live on campus at International House Darwin (IHD). She loves to socialise with the domestic and international CDU students who also reside at IHD and shares her experience about making life-long friends at uni, and tips about how to balance study and social life with us.
I was born and raised in Katherine, just down the road. Darwin and CDU seemed like a good place to start off, being so close to home and something I was comfortable and familiar with. Initially, I discovered IHD by staying here briefly on a high school excursion but rediscovered it myself through researching accommodation options once I'd decided to move to Darwin.
The best part about living at IHD is the opportunity to interact with so many people from other countries
What motivated you to take on study?
I've always known that I wanted to go to university to continue studying, that I loved science, and that I wanted to know more. Although I didn't have a particular career in mind, I thought a Bachelor of Science could set me up for further study and even help me figure out what I might want to pursue.
Even though I haven't officially decided what I want to do when I finish my degree, most possibly I will continue to study, perhaps in health or animal science.
...you get to experience being independent while also being part of a very interactive community
What do you like most about living at IHD and studying with CDU?
The best part about living at IHD is the opportunity to interact with so many people from other countries, especially with the exchange students. It’s very easy and convenient to live here; you get to experience being independent while also being part of a very interactive community. The events are a great way to socialise, and there is always help around when it’s needed.
I believe CDU's active exchange program is great for networking and encourages travel among students to visit one another in their home countries. In comparison to other universities, CDU’s teaching staff is much more readily available to individual students. That is because the classes are much smaller, which means you get more one-on-one contact with lecturers. I believe this is a key part of learning for myself and other students.
Engaging with your uni community
helps build relationships
that you come to rely on
Muriel Scholz (centre) has made life-long friends with fellow IHD residents while studying at CDU
What has been the most challenging aspect of living away from home?
One of the aspects of living away from home is that it can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you begin to feel isolated.
Sometimes it can be difficult to meet new people and build those meaningful relationships. If you are feeling overwhelmed about being out of home, it's important to realise that’s a perfectly normal way to feel, and the best way to overcome it is to get involved in uni community life. Engaging with your uni community helps build those relationships that you come to rely on; it shows you that you aren't alone, all the while keeping you preoccupied. My advice to students feeling overwhelmed or isolated would be not to forget to reach out to those you usually would and remind yourself that they are still there.
It’s key to remember that when you're looking for people to befriend that you should stay true to who you are; you can't expect to truly connect with people if you are putting up a front. It's also essential to put yourself out there - talk to your classmates and be an active member in group situations.
One of the major challenges I face while at university is making study a priority. As I am someone who loves the social side of uni life, it's hard to find a balance between the two, so I can stay active in my social groups while being up to date with class work.
How do you balance study and socialising?
One of the ways I try to balance study and socialising is studying with my friends. Though it's not always as productive as it could be, it’s better than skipping out all together and seeing your friends so determined is motivating. Another way is to find out when your friends are studying and utilise this time apart to do your own independent study.
This is a time that I won't soon forget
How do you plan to make a difference and contribute to a better future with your degree?
A lot of the skills that will be most important to me when I graduate will be my practical ones: being able to assess different situations and act accordingly. I think this is key in being successful in all respects. I would like to think that this will help me be an effective member not only in society, but in the workplace. Taking the time to develop myself will translate into how I contribute to the future of my community.
Lastly, is there anything else you would like to share about your experience at IHD? Or studying with CDU?
Living in the IHD community is like nothing I've ever known, and is such a unique experience that I’m quite appreciative for. I'm really glad I made the decision to come here; had I not have, I would’nt have had the chance to meet all the amazing people from countless different countries and walks of life that I now have the pleasure of calling my friends. It really gives you a chance to build strong relationships and expose yourself to true diversity. This is a time that I won't soon forget.