Nurdurrah Abdul Bari had one main condition when choosing a university for her masters degree – that it be somewhere close to her home country of Singapore.
“Sydney being about 8 hours away is perfect!” she says.
“Macquarie appealed to me as a reputable institution and it offers the most comprehensive Children’s Literature program in Australia.”
With many of her course-mates studying the degree by distance education, Nurdurrah finds her small class groups are enhanced by Macquarie’s iLearn online learning system.
“My classes are useful in exploring ideas and the discussing topics and though iLearn we can include external students in these discussions,” she notes. “This definitely helps in broadening the learning process.”
Macquarie’s high-tech library is another plus for Nurdurrah.
“The library is amazing – the collection of books, journals and articles is extensive and really useful for my research,” she says. “Like the rest of the campus, there has been a real effort in sustainable construction and fair trade.”
When asked to name her favourite Macquarie teacher, Nurdurrah says it would be impossible to choose just one.
“Both Professor John Stephens and Dr Victoria Flanagan have been very influential,” she exclaims. “Besides their expertise in children’s literature, both of them go beyond in giving feedback, recommending books for my research thesis and clarifying any doubts I have about topics.”
Nurdurrah says she has been ‘charmed’ by her temporary hometown.
“Sydney has a mixed vibe of cosmopolitan, nature and art culture,” she says. “I love that there are so many festivals and things to see and do – it’s so much more than just the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
And the biggest difference between Sydney and Singapore?
“The pace of life here is much more relaxed. You can see how Australians value work-life balance – people seem to be leaving work on time!”
Read more about the Master of Arts.