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Campus Life: Living Down Unda' at UTS in Sydney

Oct 11, 2019 11:15:00 AM / by Stephanie Sadler

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) is one of Australia’s largest universities, with 45,000 students, 1/3 of which are international. Diverse and inclusive, you’ll quickly find a place to fit in at “Sydney’s City University” on the edge of the bustling Central Business District. The campus has gone through a rejuvenation process in the last decade to become an interconnected urban environment with a focus on sustainability and innovation. You’ll find yourself navigating buildings with endearing nicknames like the “Crumpled Paper Bag”, “The Building with the ‘Grammable Staircase”, “The Cheese Grater”, “The Mothership”, “The Love Boat”, and “The Jenga Building”.

Read on to find out more about what it’s like to live and study at UTS, from the housing, to all of the facilities available within the campus grounds, to the student support services, to the many clubs and events that will help you make new friends, and some bonus CAPA inclusions.

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HOUSING

You’ll have three choices of where to live: with other UTS students in the residence halls, in a homestay within commuting distance to campus, or with other CAPA students in shared apartments.

There are five separate residence buildings named with Aboriginal words out of respect for the traditional owners of the land on which they were built - the Gadigal and Guring-gai people of the Eora Nation. One of the buildings is reserved for UTS Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The four remaining residences are all shared apartments (two-, three-, four-, six-, seven-, eight-, or nine-bedrooms) with a common living room, kitchen, and bathroom facilities. There are also some studio apartments and self-contained areas including a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen facilities.

You can take a virtual tour of Yura Madang (“Students Live”), Gumal Ngurang (“Friendly Place”), Bulga Ngurra (“Mountain Camp”), and Geegal (“Shelter”) on the UTS website.

Take a look at each individual page as every residence hall has different perks and facilities. Some examples include BBQs, panoramic views, pool tables, tennis facilities, a piano, and a vegetable and herb garden.

All of the residences have internet throughout, Foxtel HD TV, and a dedicated study lab where you can print, scan, and photocopy.

Each residence hall has a team of Resident Networkers (senior student mentors). They are there to give advice and guidance, as well as organize activities that will help you make friends and keep everyone in the building feeling connected.

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ON CAMPUS FACILITIES

On campus, you’ll find 24/7 security, plenty of study areas, a library (with a nap space on level 2), 24-hour labs, sporting clubs, a games room, an art gallery, an Indigenous garden, more than a dozen cafes and restaurants, a convenience store, a gym, a multi-faith chaplaincy, and much more. There are also free shuttles services, including a night security bus which shuttles between campus buildings and residences, seven nights a week until 1:30am.

The local area is full of additional shops, cafes, galleries, and more, but we’ll look beyond the campus grounds in another post.

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CLUBS

One of the best ways to connect with other students is to join clubs. There are over 130 of them at UTS, including cultural societies, sports clubs, academic societies, religious groups, and political groups, ranging from fun to serious. You’ll find some that you’d expect, like Basketball, Photography Society, and Women in Business. There’s also a lot that are a bit more unusual. Some of those include Wannabe Santas, Quidditch Society, KYHO (Kick Your Heels Off) Networking, K-POP UTS, Intents (Camping), Get Gigged (live music), Biohacking Society, and Cryptocurrency Society.

OTHER ACTIVITIES AND EVENTS

If you’re serious about sports, UTS also has elite athlete programs. Check out the UTS Soul Award if you’re interested in volunteering. And everywhere you turn, you’ll have opportunities to get involved in the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation which are emphasized here with all sorts of related activities, from bootcamps to special guest talks to hack-a-thons, and more.

Residence Networkers also organize a continuous calendar of events throughout the semester. These include an impressive mix of topics, but some examples are photography workshops, attending a local jazz festival, cooking clubs, Mandarin classes, film nights, yoga, a trip to the night markets, boat cruises, holiday celebrations, and workout sessions.

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STUDENT SUPPORT

We’ve talked about some of the academic support available already, but you’ll also find support in other aspects of life at UTS.

You’ll find a student center for general advice and enquiries. You’ll find finance advice and careers advice. There are a number of networking and mentoring programs, from the HELPS Buddy Program which helps international students practice English (you can sign up as a volunteer) to the Professional Mentoring Program (which connects students with alumni in their field).

If you’re not feeling well or need some medical advice, there are four doctors on campus during working hours. They also give travel advice and vaccinations. There’s a free counseling service and a Chinese medicine clinic nearby too.

CAPA INCLUSIONS

As a CAPA student, you’ll have access to extra benefits and inclusions like a CAPA orientation; welcome and farewell events; and access to CAPA emergency services, including the CAPA Guardian App.

You’ll also be able to join in on My Global City events. These change depending on the term, but some examples include spending an evening at the Sydney Observatory, indulging in a food crawl in Newtown, taking in the history at The Rocks, seeing the stunning views of the coastline on a walk from Bondi to Coogee, and attending TropFest - the world’s largest short film festival and one of Australia’s most prestigious and iconic cultural events.

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ACCESSIBILITY

If you have a disability, you’ll be able to access the Student Services Unit Resource Room and Library Assistive Technology Rooms where a variety of assistive technology is available. UTS has an access map which helps you pinpoint accessible toilets and access ramps. There’s a list of places where hearing assistance technology is available. Notetakers can help during classes and lecture recordings can be arranged. Course materials can be presented to you in alternative formats. Special provisions can be made when you take exams. You’ll also be able to loan equipment like assistive software, dictaphones and specialist equipment for your course, such as amplified stethoscopes for medical students.

Wondering what lies just beyond the UTS campus? We’ll be exploring the local neighborhoods in a coming post. Stay tuned.

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Topics: Sydney, Australia, Direct Enroll