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Claire Ingram – Bachelor of Applied Science (Exercise Physiology)

Claire Ingram

Growing up in a small rural town, Claire Ingram knew that her goal of going to university would mean moving away from home, so she started researching the courses on offer at regional campuses across NSW. Then her careers adviser told her about the E12 scheme, and now she’s living and studying on the Cumberland Campus of the University of Sydney and enjoying every aspect to the utmost”.

"I grew up in Young, which is about four-and-a-half hours south-west of Sydney. My Dad left school after Year 10 and now runs a shearing contracting business, and has also just been elected to the local council. He’s a very accomplished man, and I’m very proud of him. My mum studied at teacher’s college in Wagga Wagga and now works as a kindergarten teacher at a local primary school. I’m proud of her too – it’s a profession that requires patience and dedication, and she’s done it well for a long time.

My parents were going to be happy no matter what I chose to do, but the fact that I’m now studying at the University of Sydney has made them very proud.

I think when you come from a rural area it’s harder to go to uni, because it’s so far away from home. I’d been planning to apply to unis where I thought the ATAR would be lower. But then I heard about the E12 scheme, and now I’m living on campus at the University of Sydney and it just seems like second nature – like the most normal thing in the world to do!

The E12 scheme really sees you as a whole person, rather than just as a number you receive at the end of the year. I had a good academic record throughout high school, but I was also on my town’s representative soccer team, and I competed in regional public speaking events through the local Lions Club, and the E12 people took all that into account.

The support the scheme gives you is really useful too. At the special orientation it was very reassuring to get to know all the other E12 students, who are all in the same boat as you.

Overall, moving to Sydney and starting uni has been a really enjoyable experience – I’ve enjoyed every aspect to the utmost. Ever since orientation I’ve been so impressed with the absolute quality of the facilities, activities and entertainment. And as things have progressed it hasn’t died down at all – there’s just a continuous stream of endless possibilities and opportunities to take hold of. It’s amazing!

I decided on my degree because the idea that you can treat chronic health conditions with exercise and improve people’s quality of life in the long term really appeals to me.

When I graduate I’m hoping to either go into clinical practice or use my degree as a pathway to medicine. Before I started uni I never would’ve thought I’d be smart enough to do medicine, but now that I’ve started, I think, ‘You know what? I think I could probably do it.’

The E12 scheme is one of the best opportunities I’ve ever come across, and one of the smartest things I’ve ever done."