Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"Once You're Albies, You're Albies for Life!"

I'm sure many of you are wondering, what the heck is St. Albert's College?  I thought she was going to University of New England?  In terms of university, or "uni," in Australia, there are major differences between it and college.

So as you already probably know, the university I am studying and taking classes (or "units") at is the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales Australia.  However, on top of that, I am also a part of St. Albert's residence college- which is MUCH different than the residence halls/ dorms in the US.  In Australia, and particularly at UNE, the concept of being included in a residence college is similar to the involvement for a fraternity or sorority in the states.  My college, St. Albert's (or Albies, for short), is the only private residence college at the university.  As its name suggests, it has a Catholic background.  The process of getting in was not easy.  I had to fill out numerous applications and perform a Skype interview with the head master- which made it seem intimidating, but honestly, after only a week here, I am so happy that I went Albies because everyone is so welcoming and the support is unbelievable.

My building: Bot D
Not to brag, but Albies is considered the most elite of all the residence colleges at UNE.  They truly pick the best of the best students.  Albies is based on five key values: engagement, integrity, respect, service, and heritage.  A vital aspect of the college is community support.  Last night, I attended an SCR (senior common room) event in which I was able to network with Albies alumni and supporters who still associate with specific floor of the college blocks (or buildings).  Throughout the year, they will welcome us to their homes, serve as mentors, and host us for social gatherings, like the champagne breakfast before race day.  On top of that, we are sponsored by a local pub, Services, who gives all students of the college free pub memberships, and they host several social events for us on Thursday nights throughout the year.  They donate also thousands of dollars towards Albies sports teams- a major aspect of the college.

Collegiate sports at Albies are a huge deal.  Throughout the year, members of the college will train and compete in several male and female sporting events (football, rugby, hockey, netball, etc.), both within the community and within the university.  St. Albert's rugby in particular is very renowned.  They have won the Club championships each time for the last 8 years.  There are also numerous intercollegiate sports competitions where Albies competes against other colleges.  I'm pretty pumped about joining the Albies girls field hockey team later in the semester where we will play against Robb College.

Traffic Light Night with my new friend, Nicci

One of my favorite parts about Albies is the social aspect.  No matter what block you go to, everyone always has their doors open, welcome to visitors, and everyone is constantly playing music.   People drink beer very casually throughout the day, and the overall culture is extremely relaxed.  Albies also puts on numerous social events throughout the week so students can be more familiar with their floor-mates, as well as other members of the college.  For instance, during the week, there might be a floor punch (made of wine or "goon," vodka, and some sort of fruit drink) before you go to the pubs or a college function.  This week, we've had Coliseum night and Traffic Light night.  Each floor is co-ed, so you could pretty much be neighbors with anyone.  There's a large chance you won't be hanging out with the same friend group all the time- which is fantastic, because there's always a new face and new friends eager to meet you.

My first Albies shirt!
Albies is also extremely prideful.  Anytime we go on a "bottle-o" (liquor store) run or take a bus into town, students are always shouting Albies chants.  Also, Albies merch is an integral part of the college experience.  Everyone is constantly wearing Albies attire, whether it be a sports jersey, polo, shorts, tshirt- you name it!  I absolutely love being a part of such a tremendous college that cares so much about its members and is so committed to ensuring they have the best college and university experience possible.  I know I definitely will.  ☺


No comments:

Post a Comment