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Thread: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

  1. #1
    Junior Member LightOfTheSeven's Avatar
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    Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    Current student at Macquarie, and I'm seriously considering a transfer to University of Sydney. I was planning to do some cross-institutional study at Usyd, but due to reasons I'm not going to bore you with, I missed the deadline.

    A bit about me
    -I love reading and history, often finding myself getting into rigorous discussions
    -I learn languages in my spare time- in particular, Russian, German and French. I'd do them at university, but online learning allows you to do it at your own pace and still get feedback.

    My problems
    -A lack of friends / social support at Macquarie
    -I feel 'trapped' by my degree, that I'm not meeting my potential
    -I have a bone to pick with the English department at Macquarie

    Why do I want to transfer?
    -The Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies would allow me to do coursework in History, English and International Relations whilst doing advanced subjects in European Studies. If I graduate, I'll have a sophisticated grasp on these subjects and the developed ability to take out research.
    -I don't get myself too focused on rankings- but my three siblings all go / went to Usyd. So did many of my (extended) family members.
    -I'm struggling at Macquarie with staff and other students. I find that people stay in their high school cliques. Some of the staff / administration are flat out rude. Macquarie also doesn't offer European Studies, which is a shame- because Europe is the subject of my research interests.
    -The English department at Macquarie... let's just say that I love English, but I despise the way its done at Macquarie. Some staff are also rude. I don't want to write anything nasty, but a Creative Writing professor should not be making 'squatter' remarks for a first year subject. I want an English major, as it is a prereq to many post-grad Creative Writing programs.
    -Meanwhile, English at Usyd enjoys a high reputation.
    -I can feel kind of out of place at Macquarie: I did my HSC in 2012, still an undergraduate. Whereas I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) Usyd attracts more mature aged students.
    -Social life! I have all these great ideas, but at Macquarie- I never feel they can reach their potential or go into full fruitation.
    -Too many core subjects at Macquarie. I know, sometimes you have to put up with core subjects- but Macquarie really tests me.

    Reasons to stay at Macquarie
    -I can finish at the end of 2019
    -My family kind of wants me to stay at Macquarie, as its closer and they think Usyd is an impersonal university that doesn't care for its students.

    What are my career goals?
    I'm aiming for an APS position- DFAT and Defense are quite competitive, but there are plenty of departments that interest me. I'm also a keen writer, and would like to one day publish fictional books. So I'm aiming for a Masters (preferably overseas- I like the program at University of Edinburgh, for instance) in Creative Writing. Combined with APS experience in the public service, as well as a knowledge of international affairs and history- that would prepare me for many careers in writing and journalism.

    So enough about me. What questions do I have for University of Sydney students?
    -Are students enjoying the 'Advanced Studies' degree?
    -Any thoughts on the Humanities and Social Sciences departments? Is the Arts faculty that good?
    -Alot of people perceive Usyd to be an impersonal university where everyone is just a number. Does that ring true? At Macquarie, you feel like you are part of a queue, lol.
    -Does Usyd help students reach their potential? Could Usyd help me reach my own goals and ambitions more than Macquarie? I work hard and my marks are pretty solid.
    -Do students at Usyd (in a general sense) work hard and are ambitious? I find at Macquarie, alot of students just sit in tutorials and don't respond to questions. I get quite involved in tutorials, and I like having discussions with tutors and other students. Will Usyd solve that problem of mine?

    --

    I know this is alot of text, you don't have to read / answer all my questions but if you have something to say about life as a student at Usyd, I'd love to hear it.

    Anyway, hope you are all enjoying your weekend
    “In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you've planned for them. Mark that well, Alayne. It's a lesson that Cersei Lannister still has yet to learn.”


    B.Arts (English & Modern History) ~ Macquarie University (2017-2019)

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    Re: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    -Are students enjoying the 'Advanced Studies' degree?

    It is just an extra year of advanced coursework, could be useful if you're aiming towards masters or honours. Also spend an extra year building up your resume.

    -Any thoughts on the Humanities and Social Sciences departments? Is the Arts faculty that good?

    It's quite good, except there can be certain bias in marking but that's visible anywhere else.

    -Alot of people perceive Usyd to be an impersonal university where everyone is just a number. Does that ring true? At Macquarie, you feel like you are part of a queue, lol.

    Isn't that every university? Not necessarily a number, but to promote independence and individual management.

    -Does Usyd help students reach their potential? Could Usyd help me reach my own goals and ambitions more than Macquarie? I work hard and my marks are pretty solid.

    What do you mean by that? USYD has great programs and opportunities, but their student services aren't up to the standard us students would like.

    -Do students at Usyd (in a general sense) work hard and are ambitious? I find at Macquarie, alot of students just sit in tutorials and don't respond to questions. I get quite involved in tutorials, and I like having discussions with tutors and other students. Will Usyd solve that problem of mine?

    Depends on the faculty and its relative of course. Personally, people in law work hard.

    Another things to note is that social life is subjective. It all depends on how you make out of it. And the cliches obviously exist, there will be established friend groups already.

    There's no harm in transferring except the sacrifice of time.

    Also, USYD is seriously really flexible with their units. I can do maths, philosophy and business in a comm degree
    pikachu975 likes this.

  3. #3
    I love trials pikachu975's Avatar
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    Re: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post

    Why do I want to transfer?
    -The Bachelor of Arts / Bachelor of Advanced Studies would allow me to do coursework in History, English and International Relations whilst doing advanced subjects in European Studies. If I graduate, I'll have a sophisticated grasp on these subjects and the developed ability to take out research.
    -I don't get myself too focused on rankings- but my three siblings all go / went to Usyd. So did many of my (extended) family members.
    -I'm struggling at Macquarie with staff and other students. I find that people stay in their high school cliques. Some of the staff / administration are flat out rude. Macquarie also doesn't offer European Studies, which is a shame- because Europe is the subject of my research interests.
    -The English department at Macquarie... let's just say that I love English, but I despise the way its done at Macquarie. Some staff are also rude. I don't want to write anything nasty, but a Creative Writing professor should not be making 'squatter' remarks for a first year subject. I want an English major, as it is a prereq to many post-grad Creative Writing programs.
    -Meanwhile, English at Usyd enjoys a high reputation.
    -I can feel kind of out of place at Macquarie: I did my HSC in 2012, still an undergraduate. Whereas I think (and correct me if I'm wrong) Usyd attracts more mature aged students.
    -Social life! I have all these great ideas, but at Macquarie- I never feel they can reach their potential or go into full fruitation.
    -Too many core subjects at Macquarie. I know, sometimes you have to put up with core subjects- but Macquarie really tests me.
    That's a bit unlucky with the rude staff because all the staff I've encountered so far have been really friendly and want to help you out. Also in regards to high school cliques, not sure about that one because lots of people in my degree seem to be in friend "groups" with various schools and were willing to meet new people.

    For high reputation, the uni doesn't even matter in the end as long as you have a degree. If you go usyd but can't do interviews for crap then you still won't be carried by it's high rep but if you go to mq and are a good candidate they won't be like "nah he went mq don't hire him".

    For social life have you joined societies? Like with ASSOC alone I've been to around 5 events already and been able to be a delegate for an upcoming event so there's sooooo much stuff, and that's without attending events from other societies.

    However all in all it's unlucky you've met rude staff though!
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  4. #4
    Junior Member LightOfTheSeven's Avatar
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    Re: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    Quote Originally Posted by pikachu975 View Post
    That's a bit unlucky with the rude staff because all the staff I've encountered so far have been really friendly and want to help you out. Also in regards to high school cliques, not sure about that one because lots of people in my degree seem to be in friend "groups" with various schools and were willing to meet new people.

    For high reputation, the uni doesn't even matter in the end as long as you have a degree. If you go usyd but can't do interviews for crap then you still won't be carried by it's high rep but if you go to mq and are a good candidate they won't be like "nah he went mq don't hire him".

    For social life have you joined societies? Like with ASSOC alone I've been to around 5 events already and been able to be a delegate for an upcoming event so there's sooooo much stuff, and that's without attending events from other societies.

    However all in all it's unlucky you've met rude staff though!
    I've had minor club involvement with debating, I'm going to Canberra with other Macquarie students and I'm starting my own club for next session (I've had students email me that they are interested). This year I've met some people and befriended them on Facebook.

    I think I may have been a bit too harsh on Macquarie University re: staff. Some are very nice especially in Student Connect, Global Leadership Program, International Studies, Security Studies & Criminology, and PACE. There are some great people at Macquarie. Maybe my answer is to finish my MQ degree, then go to USyd and do a Diploma of Arts in English or European Studies.

    About uni reputation... I do think most of it focuses on 'postgrad'. I don't put much weighing in a universities overall rankings. Just because you are an expert in a field, doesn't make you a great teacher. Macquarie does afterall have a program that makes sure its students are well-rounded. But I've been told I'm 'stupid' for doing a B.A at Macquarie whilst Usyd is in the same city.

    So yeah- maybe I'm undervaluing Macquarie and overemphaizing Usyd. I do want to finish my degree as soon as possible.
    pikachu975 likes this.
    “In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you've planned for them. Mark that well, Alayne. It's a lesson that Cersei Lannister still has yet to learn.”


    B.Arts (English & Modern History) ~ Macquarie University (2017-2019)

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    Senior Member sida1049's Avatar
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    Re: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    Hi there! I study Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics) and Bachelor of Arts. I hope I can offer you some information in addition to the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post
    -Are students enjoying the 'Advanced Studies' degree?
    The Advanced Studies degree, from I understand, is literally just an extra year to study an additional major. I'm sure students are enjoying the flexibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post
    -Any thoughts on the Humanities and Social Sciences departments? Is the Arts faculty that good?
    The Arts and Social Sciences faculty consists of the sum of humanities faculties, e.g. economics, literature, philosophy, et cetera. From what I've experienced, namely the economics and philosophy faculties, they are excellent. The staff members (namely lecturers and unit coordinators) have been helpful and responsive to my queries. For example, I plan on taking a ton of second year philosophy units from now until the end of my degree, despite not having done the first-year prerequisites. I emailed a philosophy lecturer about this, and he's open to giving me special permission to enrol into his courses, and mentioned that there's a good chance I can get permissions for many of the other courses from those lecturers too.

    And when I was having technical issues in enrolling into a couple of units earlier this year, the economics unit coordinators that I've emailed to were very responsive and friendly. One of them even emailed me first regarding my enrolment at the time, which was quite a surprised (this was kind of an exception due to me being in the "pre-honours" program, but it goes to show that some staff can be very helpful).

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post
    -Alot of people perceive Usyd to be an impersonal university where everyone is just a number. Does that ring true? At Macquarie, you feel like you are part of a queue, lol.
    In the end, every university is a business, and businesses with a large customer base have to be systematic. I've had my first negative experience earlier this year, as I have mentioned above, when I experienced a technical issue when trying to enrol into a certain unit, and faculty services took 2+ months to resolve my issue due to capacity constraints.

    So yes, when it comes to the administrative side of things, you are a number, and that's how it is everywhere. That said, it is different when it comes to dealing with the individual faculties. For example, communicating with lecturers is a completely different experience; from my various dealings with lecturers, I've never had a negative experience, and they've always been helpful, and overall fantastic people. This is especially true once you're in second or third year, where the classes thin out a little, and the lecturers can pay closer attention to students.

    So in summary, administration is business-as-usual, but communicating with lecturers/academics/coordinators is often a pleasant experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post
    -Does Usyd help students reach their potential? Could Usyd help me reach my own goals and ambitions more than Macquarie? I work hard and my marks are pretty solid.
    Yes, as does anywhere, if you try hard enough. Like the users above have mentioned, in addition to studying, you need to actively find ways to further your potential yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by LightOfTheSeven View Post
    -Do students at Usyd (in a general sense) work hard and are ambitious? I find at Macquarie, alot of students just sit in tutorials and don't respond to questions. I get quite involved in tutorials, and I like having discussions with tutors and other students. Will Usyd solve that problem of mine?
    This depends on various factors. For example, I study maths, and have taken nearly all of my maths units in the advanced stream. And I can confirm that the advanced maths students are hardworking af. Usually, I find that in units with smaller enrolment numbers and more niche (e.g. a higher-year unit, or an advanced unit), the students will often be far more hardworking and engaged with the content, and the lecturer/tutor will also be more attentive to the students, with a somewhat more relaxed, friendly atmosphere.


    Regarding social life at USYD, while I've had a very positive experience, I know people who have felt isolated here, just like in any other uni. I think the social life from uni to uni is generally fairly similar. Even here, you'll find people sticking to their high school cliques and whatnot. I ultimately think that the crux of having a fantastic social life at any uni is to really try to socialise with the people in your classes. While some people will not be very receptive, you'll generally meet quite a few friendly people this way.


    Now, for my personal advice, I actually recommend for you to graduate from Macquarie uni first, then apply for a postgraduate degree at USYD. You've already invested quite a lot into Macquarie already, and you're probably better off finishing there than to incur the problems and costs of externally transferring into a new degree at USYD.

    Studying as a postgrad here is fantastic, because in addition to being able to work with the faculty more intimately, you can still actively participate in societies and social events, and you are usually able to take undergraduate units too, if you want.

    Furthermore, if you really want a taste of USYD, you might be able to take a unit at USYD as a part of your degree at Macquarie. I know at least one USYD student who took a unit at Macquarie uni once, and received it as a credit for his USYD degree. If this interests you, then you should enquire the faculty administering your degree about this, and perhaps shoot an email to the relevant faculty at USYD.
    LightOfTheSeven likes this.

    Bachelor of Science (Advanced Mathematics)/Bachelor of Arts III, USYD

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    Junior Member LightOfTheSeven's Avatar
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    Re: Would transferring to Usyd solve any of my problems / help me?

    Hey! Thanks for answering my questions. Sometimes, I have a tendency to over-idealize instituitions. Usyd is a university at the end of the day, with its own quirks and flaws No university is going to solve any issues on my part. Hopefully this semester, I diverse myself a bit with extra-cirricular.

    Your response really helps. Looking through the selection of post grad degrees offered by Usyd, they seem to have some really neat courses. What I also like about Usyd's options is that you can take them as a Certificate, Diploma or Masters. (that may not be true for all the courses, just the ones I'm interested in). That offers some flexibility, in case if I feel a Masters is too much overkill for a graduate application I can just do the certificate or diploma.

    I think I'll stay at Macquarie, cause after this semester... it's just three more. I can do that.
    sida1049, si2136 and ichila101 like this.
    “In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you've planned for them. Mark that well, Alayne. It's a lesson that Cersei Lannister still has yet to learn.”


    B.Arts (English & Modern History) ~ Macquarie University (2017-2019)

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