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Grace Seo: A passion for property in Adelaide

When South Korea’s Grace Seo came to Australia, she initially stayed in Sydney with friends. But as she looked for a course in business and property, she chose to leave the big city and come to Adelaide, which she says is the best place for students. Since arriving in 2018, Grace has been studying for a Bachelor of Business (Property) at the University of South Australia. She says there’s plenty of nightlife and nature with gorgeous beaches and conservation parks close to Adelaide’s centre. Grace is due to graduate at the end of this year. She says her university’s student support and industry mentoring has prepared her well for a successful property career. We spoke with Grace about her experiences studying in Adelaide.

You came to Adelaide to study in 2018. Why did you choose Adelaide?

I was studying business in Singapore after working in Korea for 10 years, but I found it too humid there. I had friends who asked me to come to Sydney because they really loved living in Australia.

First, I came to Sydney for a few months holiday and loved life in Australia too. I really wanted to study property. When I checked the lists of courses and compared all the conditions, I decided to move to Adelaide to continue my studies. Adelaide is a liveable city, and studying in Adelaide is more affordable.


You began your time in Adelaide by studying English at the Centre for English Language at the University of South Australia (CELUSA). How did that help you prepare for your business property degree?

I really recommend doing the CELUSA course, even if you have a good IELTs score. It helps you practice your English and learn how to do academic writing, which is really useful for my assignments. It also gave me a chance to meet people from other countries. In Korea, we don’t have much of a chance to study with people from overseas.


What made you choose to study property?

My mum is really into property investments. She’s the kind of woman who makes her own life and is very independent. She made her fortune from property investments and always encouraged me to do the same. I’ve always had an interest in property from my mum.

But property isn’t all about money. It’s about lifestyle and how people want to live. It really relates to our everyday life.


In 2020, you were awarded a University Merit Award for being in the top 15% of the university’s business undergraduate students. How do you maintain such good grades?

My university has great resources to help students with their studies. You can watch all the lectures and tutorials online. At the moment, we’re attending lectures online and tutorials in person, but I always watch them back again online. It helps me understand and learn more.

I also attend Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS), where I learn from students who have taken my core courses like accounting. I try to make sure I understand these core courses. They become my foundation to understanding the more advanced and specific courses in my program. If my foundation is strong, I can accommodate the knowledge.

 

You’re due to graduate at the end of this year. What are your plans after you graduate?

I want to stay here and build my career with a graduate job in the Adelaide property market. I want to start my career as a property valuer. That’s the person who estimates the value of a property when people need a mortgage or for their investment portfolio. When I get more experience, I’d like to get involved in property development.


How has your university helped you with industry connections?

The university has various industry programs. They introduced me to a mentor who is a graduate of my degree and works as property valuer in Brisbane. She really helped me understand where I need to focus my study and career plans, and helped me improve my resume and cover letter.

We also have an internship program which I will do next semester. It gives you a chance to be in the industry. It’s part of an elective course and counts as credit toward my degree.


What do you like about living in Adelaide? 

I live in the city and really enjoy the nightlife. And I like going to the beach and the conservation parks. I’m also really into working out at the gym. We get a great student discount on membership to the university gym.


What would you say to students thinking of coming to Adelaide to study?

If you’re a student, I think Adelaide is the best place, to be honest. When we consider living costs and also if they are planning to live in Australia. South Australia has lots of opportunities after they graduate, and they can plan to stay here longer.

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