From online friends to flatmates

Commencing her studies online from Saudi Arabia in 2021, Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) student Ronali Fernando, couldn’t have guessed how her life would turn around in 2022.

After making fast friends with two girls in her online classes, Ronali couldn't wait to meet them in real life once borders opened. Now based in Adelaide, Ronali is sharing an apartment with her online friends - in real life! 

Ronali shares with us her travel journey from Saudi Arabia, and what she is most looking forward to doing now that she is in Adelaide.

Ronali (centre) and friends

International students (left to right) Shreya, Ronali and Erica at O'Week.

Why did you choose your degree? 

I always found lab work fascinating – it’s exciting to learn about bacteria and diseases from a scientific point of view!

Why did you choose the University of Adelaide? 

I’ve heard that this university was extremely friendly which made me comfortable to choose Adelaide as a place to study. It is also one of South Australia’s top universities and I have always dreamt of learning at a place like this.

Tell us about your journey back to campus.

I started my studies in 2021. During that period, international borders were closed so I had to study remotely. But when borders opened, I booked my ticket and flew into Adelaide on 2 February. Since I lived in Saudi Arabia, I had to travel to Doha and then onto Adelaide with a 5-hour transit time. The travel was tiring, I won’t lie, but it was all worth it to be here. 

In terms of the most up to date travel information, I found the StudyAdelaide and Government of Home Affairs websites to be the best.

Why is it important for you to have an on-campus experience in Adelaide?

My degree includes getting laboratory experiences and by studying remotely, there have been a lot of experiences that I had to miss. Therefore, to get the maximum that I can get from my degree, I always thought it was important to have an on-campus experience.

What are you most looking forward to doing now that you are in Adelaide?

I am looking forward to experiencing the university life that everyone keeps talking about. I’m also looking forward to exploring all of the beautiful places that Adelaide has to offer!

Who were/are you most looking forward to catching up with and why?

My friends that I met online in 2021. We rarely got to see each other, other than through a mobile phone screen. Now I am so glad I can hug them and hang out with them in real life. 

Tagged in Education Agents