Whether you study online or on campus, CUC can help

01 Feb 2022

Ebony Donald had it all planned. She was going to pack up her life in Wangaratta and move 300 kilometres away to Geelong to study Commerce at Deakin University. Exciting!

But it was the start of 2021 and the pandemic wasn’t going anywhere, so Ebony decided not to go anywhere either.

I figured that, with all the interruptions because of COVID, I’d just do my first year completely online to save me the hassle of that extra worry of being kicked off campus.

It wasn’t the start to university life that Ebony had imagined but it did give her some certainty and control over her situation, and meant she could continue working in her part time job as a receptionist.

It was always the idea to go away to uni but I am kind of grateful that I did do my first year online, just so I could work a bit more and earn some more money and still be close to home.

Despite the many positives, Ebony says studying online was sometimes isolating.

It was quite hard as most of my friends did move on campus for their first year and hearing all their stories about all the new friends they made did make it difficult to hear. And when we did have our (online) lectures, very rarely did people put their cameras on or turn their mics on, so you did feel quite isolated.

Ebony’s experience with online learning has made her appreciate just how valuable Country Universities Centre Ovens Murray will be when it opens in Wangaratta, Corryong and Mansfield in early 2022.

CUC sites offer quiet study spaces and free access to high-speed internet, computers, printers and videoconferencing facilities, as well as face-to-face academic and wellbeing support from Learning Skills Advisors. They’re also a great place to meet like-minded students.

It would have been great to connect with other students who are also studying. To be able to just speak to them, and have a designated study area where I had no distractions that I had at home would have been great as well.

After a year of remote study, Ebony will finally move to Geelong this year so she can enjoy the campus experience she’d originally hoped for, but she’s looking forward to accessing CUC Ovens Murray on her visits back home.

It will be a great place to go and still feel like I’ll be motivated to study in a quiet area. Especially if exams are going to continue to be online, its definitely a place I will use knowing that I will have no distractions there, and the support that I can get from the advisors as well.

We can’t wait to welcome Ebony at CUC Ovens Murray, and we wish her all the best with her continued study, and her dream of a career in accounting.

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