Sahib: Why I chose to study at UON

I only decided to follow the path involving computers in the beginning of my final year of high school. After that the next big decision lay ahead of me: choosing the right university.

First I had to decide where I was going to go. There are plenty of great universities in plenty of great countries. But as I had not taken any computer related subjects in high school, I decided to take half a year off and study at a private IT company where I learned a bit of the basics of what I can expect along the path that I had chosen.

Now, for an international student, there are so many things to consider when looking for the right university to study at.

You need to look at the costs of the degree not just the university, but living and food and other general stuff. Also it needs to be a safe place with a good justice system. And most importantly the university must be well renowned. I had to do lots of research – lots and lots of research. After looking at universities in South Africa I decided to look overseas to see what the world had to offer.

I found information about the universities that even they didn’t know about themselves; that’s how in depth I went. I looked at overall rankings in the world and rankings in Australia itself, as well as if they had a gym nearby and the types of extra-curricular activities I could get involved in.

First I looked into universities in Japan (I’m a big anime fan) but the language barrier would have been a huge problem for me and there was no place in South Africa to quickly learn Japanese. Then my father suggested the United Kingdom. I took UK off the table immediately because I had heard stories that it was really expensive living there as a student. Most of the Northern Hemisphere countries that I wanted to choose were too cold for me as I despise the cold. So I decided to look into the southern hemisphere. I chose Australia because it always intrigued me how it was a continent and a country! Crazy right? Or is it just me? After choosing the right country I wanted to get into the right university. This is where the real fun began.

I found information about the universities that even they didn’t know about themselves; that’s how in depth I went. I looked at overall rankings in the world and rankings in Australia itself, as well as if they had a gym nearby and the types of extra-curricular activities I could get involved in.

The finalists were University of Melbourne, University of Wollongong and the University of Newcastle. What really attracted me to the University of Newcastle was the way it is built inside nature. A cousin of mine even messaged me and told me that the university is just trees!  I also had a good look at its technological achievements and found NUbots. I found the NUbots really cool as my reason for choosing my field of study was to work on perfecting artificial intelligence. I watched a lot of AI movies like Terminator and I, Robot and I would always yell at the screen what bits and pieces they can do to fix or stop anything bad from happening. One day I just thought, why just yell at the screen? Why not try and do something about it? But I didn’t think I had what it took to become a movie director so I chose to do programming instead.