Off-Campus Students Uni Life Off-Campus Student Stories

Off-Campus Student Stories

Alison Richards

Alison is studying the Bachelor of Social Work (External), based in Townsville

“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 to just 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 for 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 off with just one subject to get the hang of it and now I do two every study period.”


Claire Smith

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 though my changes 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.”


Jaqueline Hardman

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 the 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 has been the reason for my success so far.”