Albert Ronquillo from the Philippines is a former NIC student who has recently graduated UON with a Bachelor of Information Technology. We sat down with Albert on the day he officially received notification that he had successfully completed his undergraduate degree.
How did you come to choose Newcastle?
Honestly, at first I was looking at Darwin. Then I saw an ad on YouTube [for UON] and I was blown away and ever since I wanted to go to the University of Newcastle. I wanted to study there.
You started with NIC. How was your time there?
NIC was my first family here. It’s a good place to start. The staff will introduce you to everything, all the good bits. They will advise you where to go, what activities are happening, and help you with your academics. You don’t always get that at the uni.At NIC I felt much closer to the staff and the other students. You can ask them questions anytime you want and sometimes get food from them actually!
What did you think about living and studying in Newcastle?
We’re in a bushland campus but if you go to the city it’s very modern. It is like a country environment within a modern city. People here are so polite and greet you anytime and any place you go. I made a few friends, mainly locals, and a lot of my friends are Filipinos. They’re everywhere! If you want to meet them either you are in uni or you need a basketball court.
Did you work part time while you were studying?
I did a part-time job cleaning. It’s not what I usually do back home where I have a steady job but it suited me. The pay was good and I was able to manage my time.
What kind of accommodation did you have?
I lived in a share house for two years. They were good students and no trouble. That’s the most important thing. There was free wifi, free food sometimes. Stove, electricity, water. And it’s cheap. Pretty much anywhere around the uni you can find accommodation. There are a lot of new buildings. Across the street you can find many boarding houses too.
Congratulations on finishing your degree! How do you feel?
So happy. It’s such a relief after the cycle of study, sleep, eat. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel and a gift after that, so pursue! Pursue the dream.
We wish Albert the best of luck as he pursues his dreams. Don’t forget to come back and visit!