Colette Marais

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa
Course: PhD (Economics)

What’s the best thing about living at Ormond for a graduate?

The obvious benefit to living at Ormond is the convenience: being close to university and having your meals prepared saves valuable time and greatly decreases stress during crunch times.  However, Ormond is more than just a place to live.  The greatest thing about Ormond is that it provides an environment in which you can immerse yourself in all aspects of student life, both academic and social.

As an international student, I came to Australia not knowing anyone, but I shall leave Ormond with life-long friendships and a richer university experience than I would otherwise have had.

How is Ormond different from what you expected?

As a graduate student I was afraid that I would feel out of place in a college that mostly consists of undergraduate students, but that has not been the case and I have enjoyed being able to participate in undergraduate activities while still having my own space.  I further did not expect to meet so many students from such varied backgrounds and fields of study; I have really enjoyed this aspect of college life and I have learnt so much from the people that I have met at Ormond.  Studying can be a lonely pursuit and at Ormond I have found a community of friends that is there to provide support and distractions where it is needed.

Do you have any advice for graduate students applying to the University and Ormond?

As a graduate student, your studies will take up most of your time, but it is essential to maintain a balance.  Enjoy everything that Ormond and Melbourne has to offer.  Be open to new experiences and meeting new people.