Kathryn Nicholls – Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science

Kathryn Nicholls

Growing up in the Hunter Valley, Kathryn Nicholls had always planned to apply to the nearby University of Newcastle when she finished school. But then she decided to aim further afield, so she could see new places and meet new people. It was while looking up scholarship opportunities on the University of Sydney website that she stumbled across the E12 scheme – just days before the application deadline. A mad scramble to get all her documentation in followed – and paid off. She’s now living on campus, studying a Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science and "just really enjoying everything about it!"

"I grew up in Denman, a small country town in the Hunter Valley, with my parents – who both work on a vineyard – and my younger brother and sister.

My parents didn’t go to university when they left school, but my dad went later, as a mature-age student, to further his qualifications as a winemaker. They’re all pretty excited that I’m studying at the University of Sydney now! They miss me a lot, and it’s hard for me to be away from them too, but they’re really proud.

I’d always planned to apply to university, but I wasn’t really considering Sydney – Newcastle is the one everyone from my school applies to. But then I decided I wanted to go somewhere further away where I’d meet new people. And that’s been the best thing about being here – meeting so many amazing new people.

I’m living on campus at International House, and there are lots of other people living here who are studying the same thing as me, which is great because we can all study together. I actually met some of them at the E12 orientation, which meant I already knew some people when I got here.
Coming from a small town so far away from Sydney would’ve been a challenge without the support of the E12 scheme. It’s really good – the orientation was great, and the scholarship has been amazing. It’s helped so much with paying for textbooks and other supplies – there’s so much stuff that just pops up when you’re studying.

I only found out about the E12 scheme when I was browsing on the Sydney Uni website for scholarships – I stumbled across it and thought, That’d be awesome!” But it was only a few days before the application deadline, so I had to race around to get everything organised in time!

I actually ended up getting the ATAR I needed anyway, but it was really good to have the security that the E12’s early conditional offer gives you, and to have something to work towards. I think it’s a great system – well, obviously, since I took advantage of it!

I didn’t really know what I wanted to study at first, so this degree was exactly what I needed. Doing both arts and science gives you such a broad background, plus the whole liberal studies aspect is really good because it teaches you skills like analytical thinking. You need to major in either arts or science, and I’ve chosen science, but I’m not sure what particular area I’ll specialise in yet. At the moment I’m just really enjoying the degree I’m doing now!

I’d definitely encourage other people to apply through the E12 scheme – it’s so great, it helps out so much. If you have the opportunity, I would highly recommend it."