Welcome to Tips & Snips Pt 3. Check out Tips & Snips Pt 1 and Tips & Snips Pt 2.


As the end of the year is fast-approaching for Year 13s, among all the other applications you have to do (applying to UoA, for accommodation if you need it, maybe scholarships too), there is also applying for Studylink. Last year, I was just hella confused about the whole process and what they even offer, so here’s the rundown: short, sweet & straight-to-the-point.

There’s two main things that Studylink offers: Student Loan & Student Allowance.

STUDENT ALLOWANCE. Those who are eligible receive some $$$ each week (this does not need to be paid back and is yours to keep!). You can take the eligibility test here.

STUDENT LOAN. This has three parts to it. Pretty much everyone (except non-citizens/non-residents) is eligible so listen up!! The main difference is that unlike student allowance, you have to pay student loans back. You can get:

1. COURSE-RELATED COSTS. Up to $1000 bucks per year to help you get your study materials – like textbooks, coursebooks, laptop etc.

Course-Related Costs: Coursebooks, Textbooks & More…

2. LIVING COSTS. Up to $178.81 per week to help you with ya day-to-day expenses like accommodation, travel, food, etc. You could use this if you decide to stay at a UoA Hall of Residence eg if you stayed at O’Rorke Hall (with fully catered meals) which is $363 a week, you’d only have to pay $184.19 per week out of your own pocket (or your parents’ pockets) for now.

Living Costs: Travel, Accommodation (featured: O’Rorke Hall) & More…

3. COMPULSORY COURSE FEES. So that’s your university fees for your courses, and this gets paid directly to the Uni for you.

Compulsory Course Costs: So you can attend lectures in this very fancy building.

So student loans have to be paid back…but when? Don’t fret, you only have to start paying back your student loan when you earn more than $19,084 per year, meaning you most likely won’t have to worry about starting to pay it back until after you finish studying (yay!).


Biomed Sem 1 is 17.5 hrs of contact time per week and Biomed Sem 2 is 20 hrs of contact time per week. These are just the hours for labs, lectures and tutorials; not including the time you might have to spend doing readings, online quizzes, and reviewing the content and so on…Personally, I also like to have some time to go to the gym, catch up with friends & fam, down time just to chill & relax, and keep up with other things. Technically, my only “job” is the one I’m doing right now…(maintaining this blog!). It’s flexible, I can do it right from my little room in O’Rorke, and is enough to support my Munchy Mart obsession.

I know of people who have part-time jobs while keeping on top of everything in Biomed – and I honestly salute them because that is impressive. I also know of people who have part-time jobs who study other degrees but have a wayyyy more relaxed timetable with less contact time. So it really depends on you and your situation.

Buuut considering mostly everyone should be able to get Studylink to pay all your course fees for Uni, your textbooks/coursebooks, and travel costs (if you’re bussing/driving to uni) and nearly half of your accommodation/food costs (if you stay at a hall of residence/flatting), there’s not too much else you have to worry about!


14 lectures, UMAT and a lab observing the insides of a rat. First week of second sem gone by – just like that! My first class of the first day was a MEDSCI142 Lab (rat dissection) – what a way to start the sem – and boy this was like no other lab I’d ever done before…It was a strange yet interesting and most definitely smelly experience (Tip #1: cherish the smell). While I was a little apprehensive of what to expect; actually observing the membranes, structures and organs we were learning about in front of my own two eyes was oddly fascinating – and will most probably make the list of the coolest things I’ve done this year. I know that not everyone would be super comfortable doing this lab so keep in mind, it’s totally up to you whether you wanna do the dissection or not – my lab partner preferred to just watch me 🙂


Second sem is also interesting in the sense that we do our gen-ed paper (I talked all about gen-eds here), which we choose ourselves. I decided to take on the one and only ECON151G. Economics has definitely been a nice break between my other very science-y papers (MEDSCI142, PHYS160 & BIOSCI106). All my current lecturers & lab tutors this semester have been absolute legends – not only teaching us new ideas really well but also having such a chill sense of humour!

I’ll leave you guys with a piece of advice from my very own Dad.

“Money shared is money decreased. Knowledge shared is knowledge increased.” – My Dad.