Author: Jennifer Chandler
Photographer: All images used with permission.

Away from the bright city lights, Ballarat has a reputation as a town that mixes country charm with historical elegance. But what’s it like to live and study there? We talk to ACU nursing and paramedicine student Brooke O’Brien to find out.

“There are so many reasons to love this campus,” said Brooke. “Not only because of the opportunities it’s given me academically but also the location and facilities. Here are my top nine reasons to love it.”

1. The campus is small, but modern

“There is no doubt that the Ballarat Campus is small compared to other major universities, but that was one of my deciding factors when I chose to complete my tertiary education here. 

With just over 1,000 students I know people across all year levels, from all degrees. We have a great sense of community. You can walk across campus and almost always see a familiar face. Additionally, a smaller campus allows access to a number of resources including practical rooms to prepare for exams and academics who provide any support that I may need. This campus makes you feel like a person, not like a number.” 

2. The uni accommodation feels like home

“Moving out of home straight after high school was a very intimidating experience. But the transition into the Camillus Residence was easier than I ever could have hoped. The support offered by Residential Services was so focused on the transition from home to university that I knew I was never alone. 

Having Residential Advisors available gave me the confidence I needed to get through those tougher times. They are ACU students too, so were also able to help with assignments and any other questions I had.

The accommodation facilities are modern, and you can have your own space while getting constant support from others in the same situation as you. You figure things out together.

The social side of university accommodation is also a highlight. Residential Advisors host events twice a week so there is always something to do.”

3. Being able to make friends for life

“As Ballarat is a small town and ACU is a small campus, I know people in different courses and in different years. You are exposed to so many individuals from all walks of life and you can make great connections.” 

Statue of Mary and Child on Ballarat Campus

4. Getting a degree that is truly unique

“ACU Ballarat is the only uni in the state that offers a double degree in nursing and paramedicine. Obtaining both degrees really opens up my career opportunities. It allows me to have a choice whilst also making me more employable which is ultimately my goal for attending university in the first place.” 

5. The teaching facilities are amazing

“I can say with confidence that the lecturers who teach me are passionate about my success, the profession, and will provide any support I need to reach my goals. At my practical classes, I have qualified paramedics providing me with the most up-to-date and relevant information on how treatment occurs on the road. 

At our campus we are lucky to have access to ‘Code Black’ which is a disaster simulation where emergency services within Ballarat come to campus and we simulate a disaster situation. This allows final-year students to treat ‘patients’ while under pressure in conjunction with other emergency services. They put the skills learnt during their degree into practice in a controlled and supportive environment.”

Outside the Ballarat science building

6. The grounds are beautiful

“The Ballarat grounds are really unique. There’s lots of gardens and quiet spaces to study or hang out between classes. There’s a real sense of history here too. But I love that hidden behind those walls is high-tech equipment and modern facilities.”

7. There’s a lot of support

“No matter what you study here there is a huge amount of support on offer. That includes academic support and counselling. The campus also provides a safe, caring environment – I feel comfortable to go to uni every day.” 

8. You can travel overseas during your studies

“ACU has given me the opportunity to study overseas in Rome for two weeks. I was lucky enough to complete a unit in Italy with people from across Australia studying at ACU. I now have friends in Italy, the USA, Canberra and Sydney. 

I get to live in this beautiful town, but I’m also connected to the rest of Australia, and the world.”

9. It’s the place to be my best

“ACU Ballarat gives me the resources I need to be the best version of myself in my chosen profession. You will spend years at a university getting your degree, so it should be one that will help you to thrive.”

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

Have a question?


We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat
Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs