It’s time to have some FUN(SW)!

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University is never just about studying – it’s a lifestyle.

Our innovative 3+ calendar will free you from class-heavy weeks, so you will have plenty of time to join activities of your favourite student clubs. There are over 300 student clubs at UNSW that range from academic and culture to sports and hobbies. It is the best place for you to make life-long friends who also enjoy the things you love. 

You can meet people from different countries who will inspire you through the way they think. As an international student, you can find allies from your home country and have their support during your UNSW journey.  

Check out how student club activities made Ashwini and Shannon’s UNSW life unforgettable.

Ashwini

Headshot of Ashwini Muruganandam
I’m Ashwini Muruganandam, the current President of UNSW Criminology Society (CrimSoc). I’m a second-year international student from Singapore, currently pursuing a Bachelor of Criminology & Criminal Justice.

Could you introduce CrimSoc to us?

Here at UNSW, the Criminology Society is an award-winning student-led organisation with nearly 600 members from various degrees focused on supporting and empowering students with a passion for crime and justice issues. 

On top of CrimSoc’s regular educational events like speaker panels, career forums, networking opportunities, we also run social events. This year, we’ve launched 3 flagship programs including Peer Mentoring program, International Students’ Network and Industry Mentoring program.

First-years’ Criminology Afternoon Tea gathering
First-years’ Criminology Afternoon Tea gathering
Old Darlinghurst Gaol tour
CrimSoc’s historical tour in Old Darlinghurst Gaol
First Years’ Welcome & Meet Session
First Years’ Welcome & Meet Session

How does CrimSoc keep its members connected when it’s hard to meet in person? 

Like most, our programs and events have shifted to virtual formats. In consideration of international students, we launched the International Students’ Network which I’m also a part of. 

It’s a platform for international students currently in Australia and offshore to meet new friends through social events. It’s been incredibly fun with all the sharing sessions, competitive game banters and just forging new friendships across countries!  

At the same time, it is a great opportunity to understand the struggles that international students are facing and ways that we could assist them collectively and individually. 

What do you find most interesting by joining and working at CrimSoc?  

Creative thinking in a dynamic environment. CrimSoc is full of highly passionate individuals who are receptive to novel ideas and strategies. With an admirable support system, it’s been exciting to brainstorm plans and going through tough times in making these ideas come to life. 

The best decision I’ve made during my time here is joining the CrimSoc team and I would recommend the same to any student in this area. The experience of working with talented and knowledgeable individuals with strong values of empowering one another is undoubtedly rewarding and inspiring. 

As the President of CrimSoc, what makes you proud of this student club?  

Definitely the students. With a relatively small Criminology student population, it comes with its own benefits – lots of familiar faces and a sense of community.  

I’ve witnessed countless episodes of kindness and generosity amongst students. Mentors who’ve gone above and beyond to ensure that our first years are doing well holistically. Frequently, I’ve received anonymous messages of encouragement from students and it sincerely keeps the team going.  

The list will keep going on and on. One thing for sure, it’s truly a humbling experience to be working and studying with such incredible people! 

Mentors’ Briefing sessions for CrimSoc’s Mentoring program
Mentors’ Briefing sessions for CrimSoc’s Mentoring program

What skills did you learn by participating CrimSoc activities? 

Heaps! The fundamental skills one would pick up in CrimSoc – handling finances, event organisation, program coordination, marketing & designing and faculty correspondence. But there’s way more to this list!  

When leading short-term projects like #AboriginalLivesMatter Interview Series, months of research through online and connecting with external organisations/individuals gave me extraordinary insights beyond textbooks.  

In my opinion, the best would be learning to be adaptable. It’s pretty common to have unexpected challenges and uncertainties, especially with the pandemic, we’ve all learnt to be adaptable and tackle abrupt issues in a swift manner at the lowest possible risks. The endless exposure to new skills and knowledge has boosted my confidence towards my desired career direction, in terms of specialisations and the purpose that I would like to achieve.  

Shannon

Headshot of Shannon Min
I’m Shannon Min, currently in my fourth year of Bachelor of Science (Medicine) (Honours) at UNSW Medicine and Health. I’m originally from Singapore, but decided to study medicine at UNSW due to its enticing programme which offers hospital-based clinical involvement from year 1!
I’m also the current President of the Singapore Medical Society of UNSW (SMSUNSW). 

Can you tell us more about SMSUNSW? 

SMSUNSW was started by our Singaporean seniors a few years back with the aim to provide guidance for juniors. We currently have 30-50 members per year, with a strong community spirit across year groups fostered by orientation camps, social events, and senior-junior tutorial sessions!  

The seniors-led tutorials we have cover important concepts, clinical examination skills, and imaging techniques amongst many topics! We also organise social barbies, blood donation drives, volunteer work, and talks (e.g. Working in Singapore vs. Australia Pathways Night).  

Whilst the academic-focused events help our members build on the content learnt during lectures, social events provide a platform for interaction, rapport building, and making new friends.  

How does SMSUNSW keep its offshore members connected under the current situation?  

Year 3-6 students are keeping busy with in-person hospital placements, whilst many Year 1-2s are based in Singapore (hopefully not for much longer) and undertaking digital learning.    

In response to the restrictive rules, the SMSUNSW academic team has converted all tutorials from in person to online lessons, thus our members were able to obtain the same level of engagement and interaction both from Singapore and in Australia.  

These tutorials are highly interactive and involve break up rooms which enable our academic officers to better engage with our members and answer questions.  

What do you find most interesting by joining and working at SMSUNSW? 

In 3rd year, I was an academic officer, working together with several of my peers to organise tutorials and clinical examination mock trials for the year 1-2s. That was immensely satisfying, and I loved being able to carry on the spirit of SMSUNSW, whereby seniors volunteered their time and effort to ensure that juniors had someone to approach, in terms of academics or non-academic advice and support.  

SMSUNSW is a crucial platform that brides Singaporean Medical Students both within and between cohorts, and I am happy to say that some of the people I’ve met during events are now amongst my closest friends. 

As the President, what makes you proud of SMSUNSW? 

I’m most proud of the strong community spirit the society has built over the years, whereby upper year students contribute their time to organise various events for their peers and juniors, without expecting anything in return.  

The care and eagerness to share have only grown stronger from one cohort of students to the next. This is something I aim to bring with me as I progress through medical school and my future career!    

What’s the most valuable thing that you gain by participating in activities arranged by SMSUNSW? 

Personally, I feel that friendship was my greatest takeaway from being a part of this society! From attending tutorials with strangers whom I now banter with on a daily basis, to having great chats with members across all year groups during social barbeques, these fond memories and thoughtful conversations will make great dinner conversations. 🙂 

BarGirls night out PubCrawl
Bargirls night out on the legendary PubCrawl!
Shannon Min with friends
Always looking for a reason to gather and feast 😋

 

Want to know more about your UNSW life? 

Chat with our international students and find out what UNSW life looks like.