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Off-Campus Student Stories

Karen's Story

Alison RichardsAilson and her Child, Off-campus Studnts

Alison is studying the Bachelor of Social Work (External).

“I was working full time when I decided to go to uni, so I wanted the flexibility of studying externally. Since then, I have had a child and returned to work part-time while continuing to study.

For me it’s really about being adaptable, being able to study when it suits my life, rather than having to fit my life around an on-campus timetable.

If you’re thinking about studying externally, my advice would be just to do it – there’s never going to be a ‘perfect’ time to start. Life goes by so quickly, and sometimes it gets in the way, making it hard to devote time to study.

Be kind to yourself and set achievable goals and email your lecturers if you need help or to clarify things. It’s better to get through two subjects and pass than try to do four and fail them all. I started with just one subject to get the hang of it, and now I do two every study period.”

Claire SmithClaire happy with her text books - JCU Off-Campus Undergraduate Student - Claire

Claire is studying the Bachelor of Nursing Science based at JCU's Mackay Study Centre.

"After completing high school in Mackay, I undertook a Certificate 3 in individual support, which really helped solidify that I wanted to study nursing.  I thought my chances of pursuing this dream in Mackay would be slim, as everyone I knew had moved away to study.  I then learned that there was, in fact, a small JCU campus here and quite close by.

I commenced my study with 30 other students, and we became a tight-knit learning community and support group.  The smaller class sizes allowed the lecturers to really get to know us and provide more individualised support.  They were much more approachable when it came to discussing assessment concerns and helping us along the way.

The Study Centre has a strong sense of community - we socialise, fundraise and celebrate milestones together.  In my second year, I signed up to be a JCU Student Ambassador, which involved travelling and inspiring the next generation of nursing students in the region. It's been an amazing opportunity, and I'm so thankful I chose to complete my studies here."

Bianca Off-campus Student

Bianca Rogers

Bianca Rogers is studying the Bachelor of Education (External).

“What inspired me to study Early Childhood Education was my dance career. Working with young children, teaching them how to dance and instructing them really captured my love of teaching. At JCU I was able study externally, which fit perfectly into my lifestyle, as I needed to work full-time and I had a young son at the time. Being able to study online in the comfort of my own home outside of work hours was a great, flexible way to study.

The advice that I would offer to future students or people wanting to study at JCU would be to go for it! My mantra that I kept on my wall which helped me to keep going was ‘Stay strong. Stay positive. Stay focused’. Whilst studying, I appreciated the support that I got from other students and lecturers. Sometimes it may feel like you are alone, but the help is there if you need it and that’s what I loved about my course and JCU.”

Jaqueline Hardman Jaqueline Sitting

Jaqueline is studying the Bachelor of Nursing Science based at JCU’s Mackay Study Centre.

“I was very excited when I got offered a position to study a Bachelor of Nursing at the JCU Mackay Study Centre.  I worked in a pharmacy for over a decade and always wanted to be a nurse, but knew university study was going to be challenging with a young family.

Through research and reports, it was clear to me that JCU was the best choice of universities in the Mackay region.  I decided to enrol mid-year as a part-time student to ease myself into university life.  I found the JCU Mackay campus was well equipped to deliver the program with highly knowledgeable and supportive teaching staff.  It also meant that I was able to complete the practical component of my clinical subject close to home, which suited my family life. The campus is a short drive from my home and easily accessible after hours for quiet study time.

I am now entering my third year of Nursing with JCU Mackay.  Although my experience has been challenging at times, I would not change a thing. The support I have received from the staff and my fellow peers have been the reason for my success so far.”