14 March 2012

Emma MiegelFour first year students relocating to Adelaide for study at the University of South Australia have received a financial boost by being awarded John and Johan Høj Rural Connect Scholarships.

Emma Miegel, Kristy Stengert, Chelsey Rothall and Ellie Collins all received the scholarship valued at $6,000 per recipient and will go towards relocating expenses, study materials, and living costs. 

Kristy, from Nildottie (15km from Swan Reach), who’s commencing a Bachelor of Health Science said it’s been a daunting prospect to move from the country where she had the same 10 students in her year level for 13 years.

“I was so relieved to get the scholarship. I had to give up a summer job to relocate to Adelaide so I wasn’t sure how I would find income once I got here,” she said.

“Knowing I have the scholarship will help out heaps, especially with a few upfront costs I will have with text books, and settling-in expenses. This is such an exciting time. I am used to studying with the same few kids I grew up with.”

Emma, from Lameroo, will be studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood and said she was jubilant when she took the phone call from the UniSA scholarship office informing of her success.

“It was fantastic when I found out – it was such a massive relief when I got the phone call,” she said.

“Moving down to Adelaide and getting used to the way things work will take some time to adjust to, even getting used to the way buses work and how to get around. 

“The scholarship covering some expenses means I don’t have to immediately look for a job which would have made the move a fair bit more stressful. So many kids from the country don’t pursue university because of the difficulties associated with relocating.”

The John and Johan Høj scholarship is funded annually by a personal gift from UniSA Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Høj, and is aimed at encouraging new students from regional areas to access and succeed with higher education.

Professor Høj said it’s pleasing to see students from regional Australia take up the opportunity to study.

“Students from a rural background certainly have a few more obstacles to overcome to access study. Simply to attend university, they must leave family and friends they’ve grown up with,” he said.

“Hopefully, the scholarship will help make the transition to city and university life a little easier, and even increase the likelihood of students returning to provide much-needed graduate skills in rural and regional communities.” 

Due to overwhelming interest, UniSA has offered 10 additional students a UniSA Rural Reconnect Relocation Scholarship valued at $6,000. More information on scholarships can be found on the University’s website.

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