Where my last minute decision to study at CSU got me

CSU student in Albury-Wodonga, Laura Coop, receiving a Faculty of Science Executive Dean's Award.

My name is Laura Coop and I’m studying a Bachelor of Environmental Science at CSU in Albury-Wodonga. I’ve been studying with CSU for one year now and have had quite the journey so I thought I would share how I got here and how amazing it’s been so far.

My decision to study at CSU was very last minute and spur of the moment! I was living in Sydney at the time, and my Mother and I had just taken a tour of a university in Melbourne because that’s where I wanted to study. We were on our way home from Melbourne when my Mum suggested that we stop at Thurgoona to look at CSU. I really didn’t think it was necessary at the time because I had my heart set on Melbourne.

It was lucky I listen to my Mother as I fell in love with the Albury-Wodonga campus! We took a campus tour by a Student Ambassador. She was amazing in answering all our questions and sharing her personal experience at uni. By the time we finished the tour I had no doubt that this was where I wanted to study. We even got the chance to talk to the course coordinator on the tour which helped remove any hesitation I had about studying there. He took the time to go through the course and details about the subjects. My decision was made then and there!

One year down the track and I haven’t looked back! I decided to live on campus for my first year, as I heard this was the best way to make friends. And it has been one of the best experiences of my life, creating so many opportunities.

Although moving such a long way from home was hard at the beginning, I soon found my feet and within a few weeks my cottage felt like home. I even managed to find a part-time job as a bartender in town which was a great distraction from uni when I needed a break.

Late last year I became a Student Ambassador for CSU in Albury-Wodonga. In this role I take prospective students (and even school groups) on tours around the University as well as helping with open days and other events around campus. Working with the other Student Ambassadors has been so much fun. One of the things I love is knowing that I might be making a difference to a student’s decision on whether they come to CSU or not..

Earlier this year I received a Faculty of Science Executive Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence. I think the main reason for my motivation to do well was because of the genuine passion of my lecturers which rubbed off on me! Even if I wasn’t interested in a topic, I was shown how it will be relevant to my career which gave me the drive to do well.

The next stop in my crazy journey is heading to Canada for a student exchange through CSU Global. I’ll be overseas for seven months, and studying in Canada for four of those. So stay tuned to hear about my journey!

By Laura Coop