Settling in at Flinders University

Living on Residence

So far, studying abroad has been a positive experience and I feel like I’ve adjusted well to life in another country. When I moved into Flinders Living , I didn’t know that I would have such a big week ahead of me. Once I checked in to my room, there was immediately an orientation. Then, straight after that, there was a dinner and then a mixer. It was really nice to stay busy, I think it avoided any potential feelings of homesickness.

Housemates of my dreams

I remember when I selected my preferences for my housemates; I said that I was fine with either mixed gender or female only dorms. But, it turned out that I got selected for the female only dorm, which ended up being a nice surprise. Originally, I didn’t think much of having male roommates. But now that I have all female roommates, I prefer it and couldn’t imagine it any other way.

Making Friends

There was so much going on during O’week that there really wasn’t a minute to spare. I tried to go to most of the events and mixers, because I get really bad FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when I don’t go to an event. I know that the first few weeks of uni are critical (socially) because that’s when most people make friends and form connections.

You get what you put in

O’week did turn out to be a great opportunity to make friends. So I’m glad that I went to most of the activities and really put myself out there. I think that the amount/quality of friendships that you make depend on how much effort you put in. I made a lot of effort my first few weeks to ask new friends to hang out, go for coffee etc. Moreover, I was also lucky to be in a unit with really kind housemates that I befriended right off the bat.


As for the Bedford Park campus, it’s really nice, but rather large, which makes it pretty easy to get lost. Thankfully, I downloaded the app lost on campus, which helped me find my way around during my first week of classes. The on-campus gym is really handy, and the fact that it is open 24/7 is great. Unfortunately, I am not able to get use out of it at the moment, because of covid-19. In the meantime, I’ll have to find other ways to be active.

Fiona Swartz, exchange student from Simon Fraser University, Canada visited Flinders during S1 2020
Fiona’s semester exchange was partially funded by the Australian Federal Governments Endeavour Leadership Program
Read Fiona’s 2nd blog post here!


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