For the last fours year, Audi Foundation has partnered with Country Education Foundation of Australia to support 13 rural and regional students access further study. This year, more than ever, this support has meant the world to these students.
Hailing from North Nowra on the NSW South Coast, Isabella is a second year student studying a Bachelor of Secondary Education/Bachelor of Science at the University of Canberra.
Like so many students this year, Isabella has been faced with the challenge of moving to online study because of the pandemic.
She is very honest about the negative effect this had on her motivation and grades, saying “I enjoyed going to my classes and even attending my lectures in person. It was definitely more difficult to stay motivated and learn with online work.”
Despite the educational challenges of lockdown, Isabella says that the best thing about this year has been the friends she has made, something that can be difficult when moving from a regional area.
Make the most out of your learning! Even if you don’t feel like it, your future self will thank you for getting up and going to that class.
They spent the isolation period living together and Isabella says “now we see each other everyday and I always feel like I have something to do, or somebody to spend time with.”
ISABELLA’S ADVICE FOR OTHER RURAL AND REGIONAL STUDENTS?
Don’t be afraid to chuck yourself in the deep end. One small hello can blossom into alot more.
Isabella believes that students need to put themselves out there. She says they should answer questions in class and introduce themselves to new people.
She wants them to know that university is very different from high school, a place where doing these things might be difficult. “Chances are the people beside you are feeling like a small fish in a big school, just like you.”
Cecily is studying at the university of Wollongong, and is in her 4th year of a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics. Studying at honours level and a deans scholar, Cecily is managing to balance her thesis, full-time placement, a casual job and other commitments.
Cecily is excited to be able to put the last three years of learning into practice with placements this year. So far this year she has been at Sutherland and Wollongong Hospitals, and was lucky enough to have another placement close to home in Young, NSW.
Don’t be afraid to cross country! I have never regretted studying far from home. In fact, it makes it more fulfilling knowing one day I can bring back valuable skills to my community.
HOW HAS HER SCHOLARSHIP HELPED THIS YEAR?
Cecily says the funds she has received from the Harden District Education Fund and the Audi Foundation have been invaluable, and helps supplement the income she received from her casual job, especially with her hours reduced due to COVID-19. They have helped her pay for petrol, uniforms and vaccinations, and importantly, have assisted with rent.
Like many students studying practical subjects, Cecily needs to pay for two lots of accommodation when she is on placement. She says “it has been a huge relief to know I have these funds to help pay my rent at home in Wollongong when I have to stay away for a few weeks during placement.”
The really important thing about this year has been the constant support I have received from my teachers, placement supervisors, my job and of course CEF and the Audi Foundation to complete my studies!
Despite the challenges of lockdown and significant last minute changes to her schedule and, what she says is a notoriously difficult 4th year of study, Cecily “has not had a day where I didn’t feel like it was possible to finish the year.”
HELP AUDI FOUNDATION AND CEF ASSIST MORE STUDENTS LIKE ISABELLA AND CECILY
The Audi Foundation prize draw is back.
Together with your help, the Audi Foundation supports several leading charities across Australia – including CEF.
In return for your contribution, you’ll be entered into the draw for the chance to win an Audi Q8, valued up to $168,610 (drive away).
Tickets are only $50 and the draw will run until 17:00 (AEDST) on Wednesday, 11 November 2020.
Enter now via the Audi Foundation website.