Information for Parents
What’s the best accommodation strategy?
A recent letter from a country parent to a Sydney Morning Herald business column (March 2011) asked what the best accommodation strategy should be for a son coming to the city for university study. The answer turns on the meaning of ‘best’.
Is it to be confined to finance and property, or allowed to engage multiple bottom-line considerations, which include finance, support in the ‘school-country to ‘uni-city’ transition, academic help, friendship, rapid engagement with the university and so on. For hundreds of years, collegiate-based accommodation has been viewed as ‘best’, especially for the first year of university study. Instant friendships, personal and academic support, leadership opportunities, on campus location, staff on site, security, regular meals and ‘plug and play’ IT services are par for Australian university colleges. For most college students these help to create that happy, hopeful spirit in which good work is done, and to give comfort to parents remotely located. Independent research (ACER Research Briefing, Vol 4, June 2009) corroborates that collegiate life outguns non-collegiate on all six significant categories.
Financial benefits are not absent – scholarships, prizes, rent-rebates for senior students, 34-week contracts compared with 52 and so on. Many parents overestimate the costs and underestimate the benefits of college life but in my seventeen years as a college head, it’s been country parents who’ve most ardently praised the benefits of college life. The benefits flow on for life too, including positive financially, though this is difficult to quantify. Greater traction on the career front, broader life and university experience, extensive personal and professional networks, to name a few.
Getting an early property foothold by going solo in an apartment in a strange city is one option; feeling connected in a vibrant college community is another.
Handling emotional stresses – parents and students. Most parents have mixed emotions about their son or daughter entering into the next stage of their lives. On one hand you are relieved that the HSC is over, on the other there is the realisation that your son or daughter is growing up and could leave home. If your son or daughter is considering studying at Macquarie University, then living at Dunmore Lang College is an excellent choice for the following reasons:
You know they are living in a secure, supportive environment
You can contact us if you have any concerns
When the fees are paid that is it, there are no hidden costs
They are well fed!
We have their academic interests in mind and monitor all the student results
They are moving into a community where they can flourish and make new friends
Even if you don’t live very far from the University there are some great advantages of living in College. It will widen your son or daughters experience. They will learn to be tolerant towards others. Living in a multicultural community they will make new friends from all over the world, plus learn about other cultures and beliefs.
We would recommend you come and visit the College and see for yourself.
This can be a very tense time for everybody. Don’t miss out on your place at Dunmore Lang College, you can start the application process before you receive you letter. We understand the pressures and will help you though the process.
Applying to College
Our applications are open all year. If we have a place available your son or daughter can move in at anytime.
Transition into University
The first few days can be the hardest especially if it is the first time away from home. Also, you will find it odd as the house will suddenly become very quiet. It is a transition period for you all. At Dunmore Lang College the students (O week leaders) organise a whole week of activities. This week is one of the most important as the students start making new friends, learning the boundaries and begin the settling process into their new home. By the end of the week they are ready to go to University. One comment new students make is how fast they settle into uni, as the ‘older’ Dunmore Lang College students help the new ones find their way and give them invaluable advice.