From online learning to Adelaide living
Studying a Bachelor of Teaching with a Bachelor of Music online during the pandemic presented a number of challenges for Victoria Kwok.
So when the Australian borders opened, Victoria did not hesitate to book her flight, travelling from Hong Kong to Adelaide in less than 24 hours. Starting her 2022 studies on campus, Victoria shares with us her travel journey and what she is most looking forward to now that she is based in Adelaide.
Why did you choose your degree?
From my perspective, I hope to share the happiness of music with people around me. I started my music pathway at four years old playing the piano and viola. Throughout school, I joined different orchestras such as the string orchestra and symphony orchestra playing the viola. My goal is to become a music teacher. Being a music teacher is a rewarding job where you can share your view of music and can communicate with people without using any words. Furthermore, nurturing students is a remarkable job as you can see their improvement over time.
Why did you choose the University of Adelaide?
The University of Adelaide is a member of the Group of Eight which provides good learning support and facilities. The Elder Conservatorium of Music is a very famous school of music so it made sense for me to choose the University of Adelaide. Moreover, there are some internships and orchestras with choirs in the Elder Conservatorium of Music for me to join while I am studying for my degrees. I see these as opportunities to try different jobs and find the one that really suits me!
What are you enjoying most about your degree?
There are many things that I am looking forward to! My degree will provide me with a path to teach my passion, which means I can bring music into my career. The thing that I am most enjoying about my degree is it has an E-learning program that will teach me a new way of using iPad’s to nurture students. It is a totally new experience to me which I never had in Hong Kong, therefore I am quite looking forward to it.
What was your journey to campus like?
I have been studying a foundation course online with the University of Adelaide College (UoAC). After I graduated from UoAC, I received the news that international students can get back to Adelaide and I quickly looked for a flight ticket. I travelled from Hong Kong to Adelaide on the 23rd January and arrived in Adelaide the next day. On my departure day, many of my friends came to the airport to farewell me and my friend who were travelling together (she is also an Adelaide student).
Before travelling, there were several things for me to prepare. First, I needed to book a PCR test in Hong Kong 2 days before my departure. Before the day I left Hong Kong, I needed to get back the hard copy result of the PCR test. Second, I wrote a checklist about the documents I needed to bring to the airport check-in. For instance my COE, Visa, Australian Travel Declaration and vaccination record. When checking in at HK airport, the staff asked me to provide an exemption letter, which caused a little bit of confusion, but then they too discovered that students do not need to apply for an exemption letter.
As Hong Kong does not have a direct flight to Adelaide, a transferring flight is required and I chose to transfer my flight in Singapore. I waited for 4 hours for the next flight and I arrived at Adelaide at about 9 am on the 24th of January. At first, I misunderstood that I needed to complete a Covid test immediately after my arrival and quarantine until the result came out. However, I discovered that I only need to complete the PCR test within 24 hours of my arrival and did not need to quarantine. After 2 days of settling, I finally met my friends and got the chance to have a walk on campus!
Have you been to Adelaide before? If yes, when, why and for how long?
No, I haven’t been to Adelaide before. However, I did some research on Adelaide to get to know more about the place. I saw some photos online and loved it because it seemed away from the hustle and bustle. I also have a friend who studied at college with me and before I decided to choose South Australia as my study destination, she recommended Adelaide and provided me with lots of information.
Why is it important for you to have an on-campus experience in Adelaide?
During the global pandemic, I was in Hong Kong and attended online zoom lessons instead of face to face lessons in Adelaide. It was complicated for me since I could not see the teachers face to face and the teachers could not see our facial expressions or homework. As I am a music student, I am also required to have an instrumental lesson with the teacher through zoom and it was quite challenging – there were lots of issues with sound! Therefore, it was very important for me to have an on-campus experience in Adelaide. I can meet lots of teachers and friends face to face so as not to feel alone. Also, having on campus experience solves the problems online lessons bring. For instance, echoes and volume problems as mentioned.
What are you most looking forward to doing now that you are in Adelaide?
As Hong Kong and Australia are quite different in culture, the thing that I am most looking forward to is the Adelaide Festival of Arts. If you walk along Rundle Mall, many people will be playing music or giving performances. I enjoy them a lot and can feel how passionate the people are about music. I am very much looking forward to watching the performances given at the Adelaide Festival of Arts starting from the 4th of March. I hope I will have time to watch them!
Who are you most looking forward to catching up with and why?
The people that I was most looking forward to seeing were Leanne and Sowmiya. Leanne is my Australian Studies teacher from College. She encouraged and supported me a lot while I applied for the international student award, so I was looking forward to meeting her and thanking her. When I arrived in Adelaide, I met her in person and I was so touched! Sowmiya is my friend who I met online. We met through a game called Pictionary which was hosted by our social club, we exchanged our contact details and after half a year of text messages, we finally met in Adelaide and we hugged each other.