Going into the second year is a significant step for any Uni student, with experiences varying for each of us. That being said, most probably won’t have as turbulent of a shift as mine. Switching courses proved to be a challenging ordeal, but I’m glad to say that I’ve actually transferred, as of the start of this semester, to the Bachelor of Science.
From deciding which path to follow, I’ve always wanted to pursue Information Technology as a field of study, but at the time I thought it would be wise to do it as a side and chase another field that is somewhat related. It’s also partially because I did not know about ‘The Melbourne Model‘, and how disciplines are portrayed a bit differently (Generic courses with majors defining the field of study e.g. ‘Bachelor of Science’ and ‘Computing and Software Systems), initially leading me to think that there isn’t an IT-specific degree on the undergraduate level. Hence, I wound up in the Bachelor of Environments, likely majoring in Spatial Systems. While I do love Spatials and am still interested in pursuing it now that I am in B-SCI (The same major is also available here), I ended up being quite bored, especially over the course of the 2nd semester, as I ended up doing subjects relating to architecture and environmental management. Worse still, computing subjects are non-allowed in Spatial majors, so I had little choice. Over a pile of bad drawings and boring readings, I made the decision to transfer.
It wasn’t a very easy process, as Melbourne Uni doesn’t handle applications directly for internal transfers, instead relegating it to VTAC. That being said, the paperwork required and the detached process doesn’t come close to the dread of waiting for a response to your application. People that I’ve talked to have said that entrance is quite competitive, since I am technically applying to re-enter the University, just for a different discipline. The small but real possibility of not being accepted continued to dominate my thoughts from October last year, which is why it was such a relief to get that joyous email from VTAC back in January:
With that said, I am not out of the woods yet. The next phase involved some back and forth correspondence with admissions to sort out some significant issues, such as being issued a different Student ID, and not being able to enrol in the B-SCI course due to a strange regulation involving international students. Thankfully, Stop 1 has helped in multiple occasions, from answering some questions about the process to specially handling my course withdrawal and subsequent enrolment. Aside from that, my study plan also went into total teardown. As I am now able to take computing subjects, I’ve plotted my study plan to take advantage of them. While some of the subjects I took last year has taken up slots for my breadth subjects (as some of them weren’t Science-credited subjects), my final arrangement now allows me to choose between pursuing my deep interest in IT through a Computing and Software Systems major, or my recently introduced interest with Spatial Systems. The process isn’t over yet, as I still am yet to sort out an updated Student Visa, as well as transferring the credits from my subjects last year. However, it is pretty much safe to say that I have successfully transferred.
I’d say that from this experience, it’s worth remembering that while the choice you’ll make for education is important and can impact your future, it’s not completely set in stone. To those in a similar experience, It’s worth doing your research and spending some extra effort to make sure you are getting exactly what you want out of your Uni life. I’m looking forward to chronicling more of my uni experiences here, and ’til the next post, I wish any undergrads reading this a prosperous second (or first, or third!) year, and to the rest of you a great one. Time to double down on my second-year subjects!
Also, for the prospective students reading this post, read the ENTIRE course catalogue. In hindsight, I sure would.