Akash Boda in one of UQ's Biotechnology labs.
Samantha Wong on campus at UQ.

I chose The University of Queensland because, as compared to the UK, Australia is geographically closer to Singapore and made communicating with and commuting back home a lot easier. UQ offered credit exemption, thus I am able to complete my undergraduate studies in under two years rather than three without having to undertake a foundation programme. Furthermore, UQ is a well recognised institution that is among the world’s top 50 universities. One of the deciding factors for me was the living costs as well - UQ resides in Brisbane, a city that is more affordable to live in as compared to Melbourne and Sydney.

In my first semester, I lived in a student accommodation (Urbanest at South Bank). It was a trusted establishment and I did not want to commit to renting a place in Brisbane (i.e. signing paperwork and paying a bond) without knowing the rental rates and safety of the area better. It is important to inspect a place before committing and since time did not permit for me to do so when I came to Brisbane, staying in a student accommodation was ideal for me.Subsequently, I moved out and rented an apartment that was not far from the St Lucia campus. 

The best part about studying in UQ is having the freedom of living independently and meeting locals as well as other international students. The beauty of studying overseas is that you are exposed to new cultures and get acquainted with people from all over the world. Being overseas, I feel that I socialise more whilst studying in Brisbane than if I were to study locally in Singapore. 

Before I came to UQ I wish I had been told to keep an open mind and not over-restrict my social circle. Aussies tend to like a good chat!