Nur Syahiidah Zainal
Since young, Ms Ashwini Kimberly Subramaniam had her heart set on studying psychology in university, in order to achieve her dream of becoming a clinical psychologist.
The 20-year-old decided to join the Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU) after completing her A-level examinations at Tampines Junior College.
The school’s reputation for being one of the top private universities here for the discipline, as well as its top notch amenities and tutors, made it an easy choice for her.
The psychology courses at JCU are accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), and the degree is recognised in Singapore and Australia, which enhances their students’ work prospects after graduation.
Ms Ashwini especially values JCU’s course delivery — she enjoys how interactive her lessons are, with lecturers constantly encouraging their students to take part in different activities in class.
“Lessons are very interesting because most tutors try to incorporate experiments into tutorials to get us more involved,” she says.
She is also appreciative of how supportive the JCU staff and tutors are, when it comes to learning support.
“The tutors are a great help when it comes to consultations and answering my questions when I am in doubt,” she adds.
She is also thankful for the help she has gotten from her senior schoolmates when she was having difficulties with her studies.
Through JCU’s EMAS (‘gold’ in Malay) Peer Tutor programme, Ms Ashwini received peer mentoring when she found herself struggling with a Statistics module.
One of the things that Ms Ashwini enjoys the most about being a JCU student is the plethora of clubs and activities that are available to students. Currently, she is a member of the school’s Volunteer Club, which allows her to take part in various community work projects.
She also enjoys its diverse culture and says that student life on the JCU campus is very fun, especially as she gets to meet so many people from all over the world.
Ms Ashwini says: “It really opens up your eyes to the many cultures and helps you form bonds with people you would never expect to.”
That diversity, she adds, “allows you to see different perspectives in class, especially on topics of culture. You get to hear about the different parts of the world and how they vary from Singapore.”
But, of course, school life is not always easy.
The transition from being a junior college student, where she says that “most things are handed to you”, to being an undergraduate ended up being her biggest challenge.
Ms Ashwini says: “University has taught me to be much more self-reliant, because you are forced to be very independent with your learning. You are in charge of everything, whether you show up for classes or hand in your assignments.”
This article was first published in The Straits Times on Feb 23, 2019.