Meet XinPei Song: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture student

Xinpei Song is a Bachelor of Design student who moved to Melbourne from China “to meet people from different cultures and gain a new type of learning pattern.” She decided to choose the University of Melbourne because it “has a good reputation internationally” and “the access requirements were relatively easy for me to meet.”

Despite incurring a few challenges in her first year with a “new environment, new language, new teaching patterns,” she notes the best way to overcome this is by finding “friends who study the same subject or share similar feelings as you. When you realize you are not the only person struggling, you will feel better.”

The Bachelor of Design has many classes that run as a studio environment, so you can talk to your fellow classmates, learn from each other and interact in a way that allows you to get to know each other. There are also many student clubs and societies that host events, industry networking opportunities and social gatherings to help you make friends. Check out the Design Student Society.

When it comes to resources in your classes, your lecturers and tutors are a great source of inspiration.

Unimelb actually provides a lot of learning resources, the lecture, the tutors, they all inspire me in some way. I found some of the lectures valuable as I might use them years after. For instance, I am now making my design portfolio, and I went back to my year 2’s lecture talking about the portfolio. It linked me to some valuable sources.

While you don’t need a portfolio to enter the Bachelor of Design, it’s something you can work on throughout your course. Exploring different design styles and techniques will help build your portfolio. Then if you choose to continue to graduate study in a Masters degree, that’s when you’ll need to think about what you want to include in your portfolio.

The Bachelor of Design taught and honed Xinpei’s skills. “For design students, I think I got some valuable thinking styles after 4 years’ study,” she said.

When asked what advice she had for other students thinking of studying at the university, here’s what Xinpei said:

“Try to think about whether the things really work for you. Unimelb has so many study resources to offer. The issue is not about finding resources but picking up resources. If I found the subject a bit hard to understand in a lecture, I might choose to read the PowerPoint slides or notes carefully or find some relevant knowledge written in Chinese. This way I can expand on the knowledge in the lecture but then make sure I really understand the topic.

Try not to compare yourself to excellent students. I had no design related education before, so it’s quite normal for me to make things rough or not that “good-looking”. However, some students might have been studying or working in design for a long time and be passionate about it. It’s easy to get lost if you compare yourselves to those students. Focus more on what you have learnt and what you are interested in. There’s always going to be a range of skill levels in any class – that's why the tutors are there to help you.”

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