City and Beyond
The transition into higher education can be a challenge for students at the best of times. Not only must they navigate university administrative processes, increased study loads, and unfamiliar academic terminologies, but there are also lifestyle matters to negotiate. How do you balance your study load with your social and family commitments? Can you access financial support? Do you have to work to cover your expenses? Add to the mix being from a rural, regional or remote location and needing to move away from home to study, and university can seem like almost too much to handle.
Not knowing where to turn for advice, and upon searching, finding little information specifically targeted at students in their situation (“country” students), three Albany siblings and one of their good friends took it upon themselves to develop a website to assist.
City & Beyond, created by Caitlin, Damien and Josh Boccamazzo and Brent Kealy, offers student-to-student advice on everything from personal finance and study techniques to time management and career preparation.
“City & Beyond is a resource we created for rural students to help with the transition from high school to university,” said Josh.
“Rural students are at a disadvantage to their urban counterparts. They lack resources to assist their transition to university, and often they have to move away from home to study.”
“We want to provide rural students with the help they need to succeed. City & Beyond aims to offer insightful, detailed, and practical advice but in a personal one-to-one way. We share our experiences so that other students don’t have to make the same mistakes we did.”
Country students looking for more information and support can subscribe to City & Beyond for updates and connect via one of the team’s various social media channels. In future, the site will be expanded to include online video courses and workshops, templates, how-to guides, and mentorship.
“We hope to create a community of people who act as a comprehensive resource and network for rural students. The more students and interested parties who sign up, the better we can tailor our approach to meet the needs of rural students.”
Coming from a rural background herself, NCSEHE Director, Professor Sue Trinidad praised the students for their proactivity.
“I commend the work undertaken here by Caitlin, Damien, Josh and Brent to offer student-to-student advice on how to cope with university studies. Particularly as this advice is based on their experiences,” said Professor Trinidad.
“To complete higher education requires additional support, not only through universities, but also from outside influences such as the student’s family and others. City & Beyond is yet another resource students can draw upon to help them succeed.”