Author: Kristy Porter
Photographer: All images used with permission.

Canberra is home to Parliament House, the National Gallery and some of Australia’s most important cultural sites.  It’s also home to ACU’s Canberra Campus (Signadou). We’re close to cafes, walking tracks and galleries so there are plenty of things to do when it comes time to take a break from study.

We spoke to Signadou Student Association (SSA) President and Bachelor of Social Work student Tully Jocumsen about the best parts of studying at ACU in Canberra.

1. It’s friendly (and there is free food)

“There are plenty of social things to do on campus, from hanging out in the new Veritas building to attending the many social events run by the SSA, Campus MinistryStudent Enrichment and more. Awesomely we have free food events on campus most weeks.”

2. It’s a special environment

“I would describe the Canberra Campus as open, fresh and welcoming. With a new building, and refurbishments to many others, the campus has been made over and given a completely new vibe. We’re lucky to have a community feel on campus, everyone knows everyone.”

3. Help is always on hand

“Studying is rewarding and worthwhile, but sometimes  you need a hand. Our student services help you navigate your way through some of the more challenging parts of uni and life. Like all of the ACU campuses, Canberra gives students access to free counsellingacademic skills advicestudent advocacy and our Indigenous Higher Education Unit.”

Blackfriars Garden

4. There is space to relax

“I love to sit and relax in the Blackfriars Garden, especially when it’s warm. The garden is shaded by beautiful trees and has a water fountain set in the centre. It’s a beautiful place to hang out in between classes, or over lunch.”

5. It’s close to the action

“We are only 20 minutes away from Canberra Centre, the city’s main shopping hub, and only two minutes from Dickson, home to plenty of supermarkets, fast food outlets, restaurants and pubs. My favourite places to hang out are the Ducks Nuts restaurant in Dickson, and Hopscotch Bar in Braddon. There is yummy food, lovely staff, and a great atmosphere at both – they’re great hang-out spots after a long day of classes or even just for a nice lunch.”

6. Cute cafes are close 

“There are great places to eat near campus including The Knox Made in Watson, a cute café one street over from campus that make delicious pastries and is perfect for breakfast or lunch. Also you shouldn’t miss Trev’s Café in Dickson. Trev’s is perfect for those study cravings, with burgers, fish and chips, and heaps more.”

7. Getting to campus is painless

“Canberra is an easy city to get around in general with a good bus network and many bike paths. In fact, we are considered the cycling capital of Australia. There are public transport options to get to campus and it’s easy to secure parking. Students can access two free carparks, and lots of free street parking.” 

Getting help in Canberra is easy

8. You don’t have to tackle your degree on your own

“If you are struggling or just need advice there is a team of ACU staff dedicated to academic skills. There are daily drop-in sessions that you can attend, which are small group sessions focusing on different skills needed by all university students. Or, you can book individual sessions where you can address your personal worries and get the support you need.”

9. It’s fitness friendly

“If sport is your thing, you’ll be able to join a sports club or start your own, participate in fitness classes and enjoy the swimming pool on campus.”

10. You can enjoy the best of the nation’s capital

“There is plenty to love about Canberra. Great food, brilliant galleries, impactful museums, plenty of amazing scenery, lovely people, and  hello we have Questacon. If you haven’t done the Questacon Free Fall, you haven’t lived.

My best advice for future students is to get involved in campus life when you arrive. You only get out what you put in.”

Want to get a taste of life on campus? Experience uni before you start with one of our free tours and events.

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