An incomparable experience
Now that I have fully settled back in to life in the UK, I have had time to look back on all the wonderful experiences I had during my year spent in Adelaide, specifically St Mark’s. I wanted to say a big thank you, to you and everyone at St Mark’s for welcoming me in to your community and making it a year I will never forget. My year abroad expectations were totally surpassed as a result of the college experience, from O’Week and pond parties, to intercollegiate sporting events, balls and dinners put on throughout the year, as well as the general buzz within the gates of such a vibrant community.
I feel honoured to have spent my time on exchange at St Mark’s, and anyone that gets the chance to live part, if not all of their university experience at college are extremely lucky, as I am yet to hear of anywhere comparable! I only wish I could have stayed longer, but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end! St Mark’s will always hold a very special place in my heart and the fond memories I have from my year spent in such a brilliant place, will stay with me forever.
Grateful for all of the opportunities
I have loved the environment that St Mark’s has provided me with this year. The academic support I have received is something I am extremely grateful for. And what makes me love St Mark’s is that this support comes from within our student body, through tutors and RAs who were once in my position so they understand what we are going through. The sporting events and facilities have allowed me to feel healthier and more positive about myself and were a great opportunity for me to find people with common interests to become closer with, especially at the start of the year. The social environment here has helped me to become more confident in who I am as a person, and that even when we make mistakes the College community is still supportive of us to help us get back up.
Development of a community mindset
St Mark’s has assisted in the improvement of the academic aspect of my life through the provision of abundant and valuable academic support, a number of study environments as well as providing the means to surround myself with like-minded, academically focused individuals who encourage me to strive for academic success. I have had the opportunity to establish so many new friendships, who are evidently life-long friends, which provides me with another form of support and enjoyment in the college culture. Through sporting tryouts I have also been able to meet people I had not previously associated with whilst building my sporting skills. I believe the most important aspect of the college is the development of a community mindset through surrounding yourself with hard-working and dedicated individuals. I am forever grateful for every opportunity, life lesson and experience St Mark’s has provided to me over the last year.
The best year of my life
My first year at College has been one of the best years of my life. Whilst it was a massive step to move away from home and my friends and family, I found that college helped to bridge the gap and assist me with this change. I’ve met so many amazing people and felt like a true Marksman with the incredible sense of community at St Mark’s. This sense of community and belonging has come from every event at College – whether it be a social event or sporting event, I have always been proud to be a part of St Mark’s College. I always feel like I have someone to talk to, whether it be about help at uni or a personal issue.
A home away from home
St Mark’s College is truly a home away from home. Moving to a big city was quite daunting, however the welcoming community at St Mark’s has made that transition exciting. It’s a place where people you didn’t know beforehand become your family and you meet people from all walks of life. It’s great to form friendships with new people from all over Australia and abroad and be involved in a community which supports you to thrive and achieve.
Building resilience through every day life
College has been the best experience of my life. I’ve learnt that I am stronger and more resilient than I ever thought. The College environment is inclusive and supportive and got me through my first semester at university, something I don’t think I’d have deemed possible if I were living alone or in a flat elsewhere. The facilities at St Mark’s complement my learning style, having the Academic Centre where I can sit in a quiet environment which is separate to my College room, as well as tutors and tutorial rooms and the gym which I enjoy using in my spare time. I believe College has allowed me to meet and become friends with a variety of new people which is very important to me. I love being surrounded by friends and loved ones so being in an environment where this is possible every day is of utmost importance to both my academic success and my happiness and well-being.
An academically focussed environment
St Mark’s College gives an environment that perfectly cultivates an academically and socially focused space that allows students to both work hard and to relax and de-stress when faced with the hard work required of them. College gives me a place where I have support and can rely on this totally. I know that retuning every day I will have a hot meal, there will be people around me that I am close friends with that I can talk to and get support from. College also gives a fantastic social experience where there are events designed to grow interactions between older years and freshers to grow your social circles and skills. College also offers a fantastic academic focus that allows me to truly achieve my study requirements. Having like-minded people that are focussed on gaining the best results possible for themselves means I am able to easily focus on my own studies. I truly believe St Mark’s offers a fantastic environment for me to grow as a person.
Learning beyond the lecture theatre
Living at St Mark’s provided me opportunities to go beyond and, to borrow from the College’s modern interpretation of its motto, to ‘reach for the stars’. It has been a place of learning with many hours spent in academic pursuit, but also in the development of life skills and an understanding of how people exist and interrelate in this beautifully complex world.
A richer Australian exchange experience.
As I settle in back at home, I find myself reflecting on all the experiences I have been fortunate to have. From O’Week, sporting events, pond parties, High Table, Arts Evenings and Port’n’Talks, each has heavily contributed to the amazing time I had at College. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found St Mark’s. This place has become my home and family during the 10 months I was a resident. The profound impact from all my experiences here will stick with me as I continue onto the next chapters of my life.”