Alex from Barbados, Studying Masters of International Law
I have a core group of friends who are like family to me, even though we come from different backgrounds and different countries. If I don’t hear from them in one day it is like, “yo, what’s happening sis? What’s happening bro?” And I completely love that.
Hi my name is Alex Downes and I come from the Caribbean island of Barbados. I’m studying a Master of International Law here at UNSW. It’s a year-long program after which my hope is to work at the United Nations level.
When I came to UNSW, and as I said I come from Barbados, literally the other side of the world, I was looking for somewhere to stay, preferably on campus. As I was looking around, I saw this place. At first I thought I would look elsewhere and as I looked elsewhere nothing came through. I applied, soon had a phone interview and before I even came here, the people I spoke to was so nice, from the admin staff to the Dean and I couldn’t wait to come here.
When I came to NCV, obviously I understood that it was a postgraduate accommodation and I was specifically looking for that, because as you go through your studies, you’re looking for, yes to have fun but you still want a place that’s a little more mature and relaxed and I found that perfectly here.
When I first moved here, I won’t lie it was actually kind of difficult and the very first person that I made friends with was the Senior Resident from my level and I’m still friends with him till this day. Actually he’s probably my best mate and he’s helped me settle in so much. I live in a studio on Level 3, and there’s always that thing when you get an accommodation you’re always wondering what it’s going to be like. My studio is my place and I love being there. Sometimes my friends have to even pull me from my studio because I’m just so comfortable. The bed is nice. I have a little balcony as well, which allows me that time to go outside if I need to get some fresh air as well. It’s a really good balance there.
And the community here has been fantastic! When I first moved to Australia I was actually kind of nervous because I knew no-one here and obviously when you move in somewhere, this is going to be your home and these people are going to be your family. And the people I’ve met have been that have just been amazing. I have a core group of friends who are like family to me, you know, even though we come from different backgrounds and different countries. If I don’t hear from them in one day it’s like, “yo, what’s happening sis? What’s happening bro?” And I completely love that. And there’s also everyone from different levels. We have joint suppers and we all just get along, whether it would be playing games, the research sessions, we just all get along. I completely love that. I honestly don’t think I would get that somewhere else. That’s why NCV is in my heart.
NCV gives you the tools you need, I found that out for myself, whether it be academic or social and particularly having that balance is what college is focussed on. So every week there’s something happening for your social life and then there’s also things happening for your academic side. There are tutors that can help you with whatever course you’re doing. And also your senior residents, they’re always checking for you – “how’s school? How’s life” – and they’re always making sure you’re fine. And if you’re not, there’s also steps to deal with that. So balance is something that has been really important here and I think New College gives you everything you need to be successful. [In the end] I’m honestly going to miss NCV. I haven’t been here for many years but the community here really makes you feel like family.