Making meaningful connections at a small university

The "numerous disadvantages" associated with a smaller university are utterly untrue says Alice Ringelstein

March 7 2017
Kangeroo road sign in Australia

During my final year of high school, I was awarded a scholarship to attend Bond University. I was also accepted into other universities, most of them with an enormous number of students and staff. The fact that Bond University was a small university was one of the main reasons I chose to go there.

There is a perception that a small university brings with it numerous disadvantages but I can tell you that, in my experience, that is utterly untrue.

Firstly, I think a smaller university provides better student-faculty interaction. Unlike large universities where you could frequently find yourself in classes with hundreds of other students, at Bond I rarely have a lecture of more than 35 people and a tutorial of 10 to 15 people. This small environment has given me the opportunity to participate in stimulating discussions, ask relevant questions in class and for my teachers to actually know my name.


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Moreover, I have also had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of one-on-one time with my teachers, with some of them becoming not just advisers, but real mentors to me. These teachers have been highly committed to helping me find success and direction. They have been able to communicate their belief in me, which I will carry forward into the future.

This individual attention is a direct result of Bond being a small university; there is simply no way I would have had this relationship with my teachers at a large university.

In addition to its small class sizes and high staff to student ratios, Bond University’s Career Development Centre connected me (and all Bond students) with opportunities, advice and direction for work experience, internships and graduate jobs. Through Bond’s core curriculum program, which all students complete and is unique to Bond, I have also had the opportunity to make sure I was "business ready" – by improving my knowledge and skills in critical thinking, communication, leadership, team dynamics and ethical thought and action.


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Above all, Bond has allowed me to connect with students from around the world and build life long friendships. Life at a small university allows for social events to occur with students from a wide range of backgrounds. A small university also makes it easier for individuals to participate in extra-curricular activities. Bond offers clubs ranging from baseball to pop culture. I have made friends from Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Poland and Germany through extra-curricular activities.

All in all, I would say that studying at a small university provides a personalised experience that encourages an open-minded and involved approach. I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given, the strong friendships that I have made and the strong community that I have been a part of at Bond University.

Alice Ringelstein is a business student at Bond University

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