Batsho Mandlebe

Name: Batsho Mandlebe
Home country: Botswana
Course: Bachelor of Biomedicine


Why I chose Ormond
My criteria lay mainly in achieving a balance between my academic life and social interactions. Ormond seemed to place emphasis on exploring all domains of life and not limiting yourself to what you already know. Furthermore Ormond college provided me with the opportunity to peruse or even develop other interests.  I needed to stay in a place that would help me to excel at everything I do but still feel like I could bring something to the table as well. Another important factor was the diversity of the people that live in Ormond. The ratio of local : interstate : international fits perfectly as it allows you not only to be exposed to the Australian culture but to learn about other people globally. 

The highlight of my Ormond experience
The people. Everyone in college is quite friendly and accommodating. You could find yourself placed next to random person in the queue for the food and have an amazing conversation that started from your mutual feeling of hunger. Furthermore, you could find yourself as a first year undergraduate student seated with an entire group of postgraduate students and still feel engaged in conversation.

The services at Ormond
The service has been impeccable. I have lived in a residential college before so I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be much different but here you actually feel like the staff care. There seems to a lot of emphasis placed in making each individual feel a part of the whole college without being just another number.

Top tip for future Ormond students
Definitely apply to Ormond. It truly does bring about that balance you need in life. It’s the place to find out who you truly are yet still receive assistance when you need it. People here don’t expect you to know exactly what you want to do with your life yet, they encourage you to make an active effort to participate in various college experiences and determine what it is you are truly interested in.  Arrive here with an open mind and you will get the best college experience out of Ormond.

My favourite thing about Melbourne
There are so many things one could like about Melbourne, from the zoo to all the performers on Bourke street, from the little lanes filled with “secret” cafes to the sports fanatics at the MCG. But by far my favourite thing about Melbourne is its inhabitants. I believe people make a place and in the case of a Melbourne, the most amicable and alive city has been established.

My weekends
Usually a run around Prince’s or Royal Park gets me going. On Saturdays, I tend to move more away from the CBD and go down on a quick hike at the Dandenong Ranges, any place with beautiful scenery or even just a quick visit to a market. This is just so I have quick change in scenery from the university and college, to enjoy a quiet morning with a few friends or alone distressing from the past week. I tend to be in college for the afternoon studying and depending on what is on for the night, I either remaining studying or catch up with a few friends in the college’s Junior Common Room or out in the city.  My Sundays tend to be more uni orientated and just preparing for the week ahead.

My proudest accomplishment at Ormond
My ability to get involved in as many college activities as I did. I used to have a habit of holding off on doing activities that put me in the public eye, so the fact that I did actually did get involved with rowing, the AIME mentoring program, an intercollegiate dance off competition, I applied for my first “job” within the college, helped organise a ball, I auditioned for a musical (note I’m no superstar at singing) and still managed to keep up my grades at university, is truly an achievement for me. To think that just a few months ago I would have never thought of doing most of the activities I mentioned above is mind blowing. It all comes to show that all you need is the right environment and a few people urging you on to try, even if you’ve never done it before.

Ormond’s biggest impact on me
It has exposed me to the most diverse people in my life.  I remember having a discussion over lunch with a few friends about religion. Per usual, I stated my opinion and got the response I was used to receiving but as more people joined the conversation I started to hear new ideas that I had never heard mentioned. I had been made to think about the topic in a much more intensive way and answer to all the loopholes in my theory. I remember feeling as though I had been immersed into the world’s most intellectual group of youth and felt so tiny in their presence but then at that moment I also felt inspired. I felt inspired to learn. To accumulate knowledge and engage in meaningful conversation that found us searching for the “truth” together.

What I hope to get out of 2014 at Ormond
A much clearer picture of what I want to do with my life. I would like to make lifelong friends who I can joke with 40 years later about what if one of us hadn’t applied to Ormond and we could have never met. I would like to take on challenges such as auditions, applications for positions and philosophical questions. To think about what I truly enjoy doing, reach out into the world and make connections for later on in life. But most importantly, I would also like to put something into Ormond and feel as though I have contributed to the heritage.

What I hope to do after my undergraduate degree
Graduate degree in Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

Advice for students applying to Ormond
I’d recommend you ask as many questions as you can. When in doubt, ask! The staff, both at the university and at the college, are more than happy to accommodate your questions. Furthermore, think through what it is you want to gain from being at the University of Melbourne and staying at Ormond college. If you’re interested in something that hasn’t been initiated at college, you could be the one to get it started.