Michelle Padua is a VCE student at Kolbe Catholic College and travels each week to attend her Literature lectures at Melbourne’s Parkville Campus. As a student of the University of Melbourne’s Extension Program, Michelle has spent much of 2017 studying one of her favourite subjects at university level – all the while managing to complete her regular year 12 studies!

The University of Melbourne’s Extension Program is designed as a way for students to extend themselves in their most enjoyable subjects, which is an awesome way to get university credit before starting your undergraduate degree and even boost your ATAR. Students attend either our Parkville campus or a school centre closer to them.

Michelle is enrolled in Literature and Performance, and Modern & Contemporary Literature subjects, which involve the study of Shakespearean, romantic, and realist texts.

Michelle's favourite study spot is in the Baillieu Library.

We caught up with Michelle on campus to ask her about her experiences as a student of the Extension Program, and find out why she chose to extend herself:

Literature has so many appealing elements - what’s your favourite part of the subject?

The weekly lectures just seem to get better each time. You think you've had your mind blown one week, but you come back the next and the lecturer is telling you that there's a completely different way to read the text that was right under your nose and you've overlooked it. The coolest thing about UMEP Literature is probably the weekly reminder that the understanding of any text is infinitely expanding, and having the chance to completely change the way someone looks at a text for the rest of their life.

Is your Extension Program subject harder than your normal school subjects? Why or why not?

UMEP Literature is not necessarily harder than Year 12 Literature, but it's definitely challenging! It really encourages you to look at your text on a deeper level and to interact with every detail on the page. It is less difficult in the sense that you are given more freedom and time to think; assessment tasks are given with a due date, rather than being restricted to a 60-minute SAC to write a full essay.

What sort of facilities have you used to help you with the subject?

I'm constantly using the LMS (Online Learning Module System) as this is the primary source of everything related to my subject. I also study in the library at least three times a week and make use of my library card to study there after hours.

The best part of being in the Extension Program is having the opportunity to immerse yourself in a subject you really enjoy, while meeting like-minded students.

What kind of career would you like in the future?

I have a keen interest in musical theatre and film, but I'm really hoping to become an astrophysicist. One of the reasons I'd love to study at Melbourne is because I know I'll be able to study subjects from all of these fields, no matter which course I choose thanks to their breadth options.

What advice would you have for students who want to join the Extension Program in the future?

The Extension Program is a great way for you to extend yourself in a subject you really enjoy, make new friends, and get a head start on uni. It's an amazing program which helps you to consider future careers and gives you access to state-of-the-art university facilities which will undoubtedly benefit your learning.

Watch the video below to hear from more students who took part in the Extension Program.

You can also contact the Extension Program team with any questions you may have at extension-program@unimelb.edu.au, or call (03) 8344 5538.

Register your details to receive updates about the University of Melbourne's Extension Program.

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