Faye Hooper

Faye studied at Challenger Institute, and has now just completed her first year at Murdoch University

  • Faye (far right) and the team of international student mentors at Challenger Institute. Photo credit: Faye HooperFaye (far right) and the team of international student mentors at Challenger Institute. Photo credit: Faye Hooper

Faye's study experience started at Challenger Institute in 2013 with a Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology, she has stayed in Western Australia and enrolled at Murdoch University for her Bachelors degree.  You can read her previous student experience story here and here.

"My transition from TAFE to University was a relatively smooth one in terms of paperwork but boy was I in for a surprise! TAFE and University are like chalk and cheese, completely different. I will use the one fish in a whole ocean of seafood analogy about University. Murdoch is huge, so many more people than TAFE and very easy to get swallowed up and overwhelmed. I loved orientation as it is a 3-5 day experience as opposed to 1 day at TAFE. I met loads of other international students and it was very exciting to see all the facilities available and how flexible Murdoch are with their degree courses.

"My overall experience of studying at TAFE was an incredible journey that I will never forget. I forged great friendships with students and staff and have stayed in contact with them as I journeyed on to university. TAFE was like an extended family experience - the people are supportive and wonderful; always willing to lend a hand and help in any way they can. University feels more like being in an ocean of people where you are just one little fish; if you don’t persevere and find your voice it could overwhelm you. But not me! My motto is similar to that of one of the scientists I was intrigued by my whole life - Einstein, he said: “Failure does not mean you are a failure, it simply means you have not succeeded yet”. So that is why I try, try and try again!

"I decided to do a double degree at Murdoch – that's taking two majors instead of literally doing two entire degrees. It’s a much cheaper option and gives me a wider range of skills and specialties to help with my job prospects on completion of my degree. I am currently doing a major in Environmental Science, and the second major is Environmental Management and Sustainability with a minor in Photography. I am one of very few people in the environmental degree pathway who chose Photography as a minor, but I thought it kind of goes hand in hand with the environment and would be an awesome experience. It’s definitely lived up to my expectations and I have really enjoyed all my units so far.

"One big difference between college and university that I’ve noticed, is that at university everything is so much more in depth and a lot more complicated – it takes time to work things through, whereas in college the classes are smaller and the information is much broader. The second semester has been a lot easier than my first - all I can say is it is helpful to find a small group of people you can study with, bounce around ideas with and work things through.  This definitely helped me to achieve better results.

"Loads of people felt the same way as me about study groups (I did not have one at college so thought it was crazy to be in one!). If it was not for my study partners, I don’t think I would have had enough confidence to go for it and reach for the stars. So, that is what I will be promoting to other students in my second year, if I am chosen to be a Murdoch Mentor. I have also applied to be a Murdoch Ambassador, and in this role I would promote the degree pathway, to other students at TAFE’s (colleges) and in schools to show people what can be achieved. I just love dealing with people, they are my inspiration, as is the environment! So it’s very exciting, watch this space!"

We look forward to hearing from Faye again soon!

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