Peerpod is your go-to podcast for all the insider knowledge on how to navigate uni life.
During 2021, we're looking for students to join PeerPod as guest speakers. We’ll be discussing all sorts of topics related to student life, such as living on a budget, maintaining focus and motivation, being an international student in Sydney, as well as advice for getting the most out of uni.
Do you have a unique insight into student life or some handy advice you'd like to share? Maybe a suggestion for a topic we could cover? We'd love to hear your views, stories and experiences.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what topic you'd like to talk about as a guest speaker, and why!
Welcome to PeerPod
Hosted by our very own Peer Learning Advisors, PeerPod is all about increasing a deeper sense of connectivity and belonging at uni via a bi-monthly topical podcast. We’ll be sharing stories, providing advice, and answering all the questions you have about uni.
The Peer Learning Advisors aka PLAs are all experienced students. They're available for a chat, can refer you to services or can offer tips on everything from finding the best coffee on campus, overcoming isolation or using tech.
Drop in for a chat with our PLAs at ThinkSpace, CreateSpace, the Quarter or Camden Commons. Check PLA locations and hours.
Episode 31 - Imagine your career development in first year
Imagine you are the creator of your career story. It is true no one can live your life better than you; it can only come through you. So how would you craft your own professional narrative? It all starts with self-awareness.
In this episode our PLA Devanshi sits down with Tina, from the University Careers Center, and Amy, a fourth-year Law and Commerce student, to have a close look at what is self-awareness and the opportunities that are available for us to learn more about ourselves in the context of Career Development.
Career Development is a journey, it requires you to live fully through every moment of discovery. At the same time this is not a lonely process and today you will discover the possibilities and services to support you in your journey. All you need is your commitment to yourself to start the exploration.
Listen to Episode 31 on SoundCloud
Resources mentioned during the episode:
Episode 30 - How to learn: study smarter, not harder
Ever feel like your study effort isn't quite giving you the results you want?
Learning is different for everyone, and working out how you learn can be tricky when you don't really know where to start.
PeerPod is here to help! Our PLA Devanshi sat down with second-year Law-Commerce student, Jacob Thai, and third-year Medical student, Sebastian, to talk through their strategies for maximising the effectiveness and efficiency of their study.
Listen to Episode 30 on SoundCloud
Resources mentioned during the episode:
Episode 29 - Culture shock: challenges of being first in family
Uni can be really intimidating, especially if you have no one close to you who can help you to prepare and let you know what to expect. With so many young people being the first in the family to go to uni, Australian universities have only recently started trying to understand the unique support needs of this growing cohort, and there's still a lot of work to do.
In this episode of PeerPod our host, Devanshi, is joined by Victoria and Jenae, first-in-family students from the School of Social and Political Sciences, who share with us their experiences as first-in-family students, including the struggles they faced, the resources they utilised and the need to better engage first-in-family students to better develop support for their unique needs.
Jenae is in her third year of a Media and Communications degree with a major in Politics. She identifies low SES, rural and is the first in her family to go to University.
Victoria is a graduate of a Bachelor of Art and Social Sciences and an Anthropology and Psychology Project Facilitator.
Listen to Episode 29 on SoundCloud
Resources mentioned during the episode:
- First in Family: Website
- Helping first-in-family students students navigate their university 'journey': Website
- University of Wollongong's First Generation Students Initiative: Website
Episode 28 - Get prepared: Helping students transition to university
Many students transition from familiar educational institutions such as high school and TAFE to an unfamiliar university setting. This transition is by no means simple. Issues of the “hidden curriculum”, being bombarded with information, and new organisational structures can often leave students, and particularly Equity students (low-SES, Indigenous, first-in-family, remote and rural etc.), feeling isolated and unsupported at university.
Students of the University of Sydney discuss their involvement in Get Prepared, an open access website, aimed at improving the often daunting, mysterious, and exciting transition to university experience.
Tune in to our podcast to hear three student co-designers, current Senior Equity Student Leaders and members of the Get Prepared team, talk about the Get Prepared site, as well as their experiences working as student co-designers.
Names of guests:
Mahmoud Al Rifai
Listen to Episode 28 on SoundCloud
Resources mentioned during the episode:
Episode 27 - Weekending on a budget
In this episode of PeerPod our host Sayan is joined by USyd students, Vivian and Jordan, to tell you all about where you can have the best low-budget adventures in Sydney. We hope this episode of PeerPod helps you in having a well-deserved semester break on a student-friendly budget!
Listen to Episode 27 on SoundCloud
Activities mentioned during the episode:
- Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk: Website
- Grand Canyon Loop track: Website
- Figure 8 pools walk: Website
- Rent a house on AirBnB with some friends: Website
- Stand up comedy show at The Comedy Store: Website
- Darling Square-Darling Harbour-Barangaroo-The Rocks-Circular Quay-Opera House-Botanic Gardens walk and have a picnic there: Website
- Free entry: Every tuesday, comedy nights at Irone Duke Hotel, Alexandria : Website
- Mrs Macquarie's Chair @ Royal botanical garden circular quay for picnics/beautiful sunset: Website
- Skywalk on sydney eye tower for $35! (on Discount!): Website
- Cockatoo Island - only have to pay for the ferry there (which is a great experience in itself) or if you want a formal tour: Website
- PLA workshops & events: Website
Episode 25 - Missing home: managing homesickness as an international student
In this episode, our Peer Learning Advisor, Devanshi, is joined by international students and Peer Support Advisors, Benny & Alisa, to talk about their experience with homesickness, how to stay connected with family and loved ones, how to deal with the difficult times and what you can do to bring a bit of home with you when you're studying so far away from what is familiar.
Listen to Episode 25 on SoundCloud
Resources mentioned during the episode:
- University of Sydney resources for international student support: Website
- University of Sydney Union: Website
Episode 24 - Represent! - Student leadership at Uni
Psst! want to know one of the best kept secrets to transforming your university experience?! Student leadership! (okay, well it’s actually not that secret - but still let this be your reminder to get involved) Join your host Life Coach Leyla and student guests: Benny, Priya, Vrishali, and Zoe as they reveal one of the most impactful experiences to their student world. Tune in and discover the art of volunteering and student leadership, where to get involved and how it will transform your career, and everything you know! But...how you say? press play to find out.
Listen to Episode 24 on SoundCloud
Episode 23 - Your say: on campus vs online study
Recorded live at the USU pop-up on Eastern Ave, our Peer Learning Advisors Tom and Juan are joined by current students Rifah, Lukas, Katie, Joe, and Lucy to find out what students think about online vs face-to-face teaching: what has been gained, what's been lost and how students in both camps are planning to make the most of the new hybrid model of learning.
Listen to Episode 23 on SoundCloud
Episode 22 - Student Societies
In this episode, our Peer Learning Advisor Devanshi is joined by Taylor (University of Sydney Quidditch Club), Jack (University of Sydney Food Adventure Society) and Matt (Sydney University Astronomy Society) to talk about what a student society is, and how joining one can enhance your student life.
Listen to Episode 22 on SoundCloud
Student societies mentioned in this episode:
Episode 21 - What I wish I knew as a first year
PeerPod is back for 2021 and we're kicking off with a trip down memory lane as we discuss what we wish we'd known as a first year student.
For this episode, our Peer Learning Advisors Tom and Devanshi are joined by two current students: Jasmin from History and Advanced Studies, and Emily from Engineering and Architecture, to reflect on first year studies and pass along the advice they wish they'd received when they were new university students.
Listen to Episode 21 on SoundCloud
Services mentioned in this episode:
Episode 20 - Welcome to Semester 1 2021
PeerPod returns for 2021!
We are the University of Sydney Library's Peer Learning Advisors: postgraduate students who are here to help our peers get the most from their student life.
This year we're looking for real students to join us on PeerPod. Do you have a unique student experience you'd like to share? Maybe an idea for an episode you'd like to pitch? Write to us at email@example.com
Don't forget to subscribe!
Listen to Episode 20 on SoundCloud
Episode 18 - Pride, How to be an Ally!
With Trans Awareness Week starting on Friday 13 November and Intersex Awareness Day on 26 October, it’s a good time to talk about being an Ally! In this PeerPod episode, our host Tom spoke to Samantha Farrell, the University Library's LBTQIA+ Liaison Officer; and Daniele Gianotti, Deputy Co-Chair of the Pride Network, about the importance of personal pronouns and how best to be an Ally.
Listen to Episode 18 on SoundCloud
Episode 17 - Mental wellbeing: Smashing the stigma
October is all about smashing the stigma surrounding Mental Health!
Peer Pod Episode 17 brings to you Susanna Scarparo Pro Vice Chancellor Student Life, updating us on all that the university is designing and redesigning to cater to the mental wellbeing of our student family here at the University of Sydney, Susanna is passionate about catering to student needs from the very moment they step into university life, and so Susanna along with her team are working to create a single entry point that would provide students with a program to cater to their mental wellbeing without hesitation. What more could we ask for at this time when the pandemic has increased mental health issues within the student community? Support from the University to smash the stigma and work together as a family looking after each other is the agenda we are headed towards. Our second speaker for this episode is Lachlan, who is one of us- a Usyd student! He is part of the Batyr program, a mental health program designed to help students smash the stigma and spread awareness about mental health. Lachlan is inspiring in his devotion to help other students work together and break the barriers around mental health and address their needs, especially now.
We are hopeful that this episode will help us all begin the much needed conversation to smash the stigma surrounding mental health!
Listen to Episode 17 on SoundCloud
Episode 16 - Keeping it fair: academic integrity
From using the wrong citation style to hiring someone to write your essay, Lucy and Colette give us a tour of the academic integrity rainbow; how students find themselves in hot water, what happens once you are, and how to avoid it all together – especially in the current climate. We’re also reminded that if you do find yourself in trouble, the academic integrity team are primarily here to help and make sure we understand how to give credit to the authors whose work we rely on for our own.
Listen to Episode 16 on SoundCloud
Episode 15 - Disability Inclusion
2020 has served up a bunch of extra hurdles, as part of Disability Inclusion week, we speak with Jack and Max about Disability Support Services; what they can do to assist with invisible disabilities and the positive impacts reaching out can have on your studies.
To alleviate some of the stress and anxiety COVID has introduced into your life – get involved in Disability Inclusion week. The team will be posting tech tips on university socials and hosting academic / staff / student discussions on the perks and pitfalls of online learning.
Listen to Episode 15 on SoundCloud
Upcoming events for Disability Inclusion Week:
Episode 14 - The Student Charter
2020 saw the introduction of the Student Charter at the University of Sydney – bringing about the beginning of a new relationship between students and the University.
PeerPod newbie Tom, gets the run down on the document from two figures instrumental in its establishment; Associate Professor Peter McCallum and former student representative Clare Birch.
We talk; community, maintaining Sydney’s larrikin culture, the shifting needs in our communal spaces and cheeky examples of where students have already called on the charter to defuse sticky situations. We also cover the need to knows: what is the document and where am I going to find it.
Listen to Episode 14 on SoundCloud
Episode 13 - Self-iso = Self-discovery
While lockdown sure ain’t no mountain yoga retreat – here at PeerPod we are still attempting to rediscover ourselves in lockdown. Join your host Life Coach Leyla, and guests Insightful Iyat and Meaningful Melly on a journey into the mind, body, spirit? No? okay, just join us for our introspective and at times existential discussion about how lockdown has shaped us and our tips on how to overcome the many mental challenges.
Listen to Episode 13 on SoundCloud
Episode 12 - The future student
Student life has taken on a science fiction feel to it lately with our university experience confined to tech world in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode, your host Life Coach Leyla is joined by Gameboy Juan and Forecaster Jesse for a round table discussion about our student experience coping with WFH and whether we feel that student life as we know it will be changed forever! Did somebody say robots?(ooOOo ominous).
Listen to Episode 12 on SoundCloud
Episode 11 - Healthy eating on a budget
"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are" - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1826)
"The man is what she/he eats" - Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach (1836)
"Eat healthily, even when you are hangry" - Anika and Alisar (2020)
Did you know that you can eat healthily even if you are a student on a budget? And it does not even take too long to prepare a healthy meal. Two birds with a stone. Well guys, this means there are no more excuses for none of us! PhD candidate at Sydney University and dietitian Anika Rouf (Twitter @anika_rouf, Linkedin) and Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) Alisar Kanjrawi are our PeerPod guests in this brilliant episode devoted to food and nutrition. Their conversation is all about the importance of healthy eating and how easy(and tasty!) it is.
Listen to Episode 11 on SoundCloud
Episode 10 - You can ask for Help!
Need help?? – Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. In today’s episode your host Leyla is joined in the studio by student guests: David, Jordyn, and Arkady, discussing the subtle art of asking for help at University, and the most helpful resources available to you to assist your studies and give you that academic edge! So tune in, we think you’ll find it very helpful!
Listen to Episode 10 on SoundCloud
Where you can get help:
Episode 9 - Consent Matters!
Disclaimer! This episode is about sex and consent. If you have been victim of rape and family violence, please refer to Rape and Domestic Violence Australia - or call NSW Rape Crisis at 1800424017
If you feel threatened, dial 000 to seek help.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
You should ask for consent
And I should too.
Well guys, it might not be the most exciting poem you've ever read, but here it is: yes means yes, no means no.
Let's break a taboo: asking for consent does not kill the mood. Find a way to ask it, and make sure you do it all the time. If you don't want to give your consent, don't give it. If you gave your consent before, but now you changed your mind, that's ok. You don't owe anything to anyone. It is always your right to chose whether you want to be involved in a sexual relationship.
This episode is all about mutual respect in sex and relationships (including everything from one night stands to casual dating or commited relationships). It's important that all parties involved understand the importance of consent. You would not want someone to be forced into having sex with you, as much as you wouldn't force them into having tea (if it's still unclear, please refer to this video).
In cases of emergency or urgent medical attention is required, please attend to your local hospital’s emergency department or call emergency services on 000 immediately.
Listen to Episode 9 on SoundCloud
Links for enrolled and perspective students:
Episode 7 - The ‘F’ Word
You have just refreshed your uni portal so many times, but the truth is there and it makes you feel lost, and scared, and lost again: you've failed that exam. Guess what? We have too. PLAs are postgraduate students (coursework and research) who also have failed their exams, so here we are to share some tips on how to cope with failure and, even better, how to get the best from this experience. Listen to the wise words that our life-coaches Leyla, Juan and Lady Sarah share with us. Don't forget to send all your love and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Episode 7 on SoundCloud
Episode 6 - Transitioning into the Postgraduate World
Thinking about extending your study experience and maybe considering a postgraduate career at Sydney Uni? Leyla, Mel and Rengen share some advice, tips and their personal experience with us! In this episode, they discuss the importance of dedication, networking and mental health. Don't miss it!
Write us at email@example.com and remember you can find us, Peer Learning Advisor, at The Quarter (postgrad coursework only), Bosch, Dentistry, Camden, ThinkSpace.
Listen to Episode 6 on SoundCloud
Episode 5 - Resilience
What being resilient really means? And how can we cope with failures during our most stressful times? Our Peer Learning Advisors Leyla, Sayan and Betta reunited in our ThinkSpace One Button Recording Studio to discuss how to move on after a failure. In this episode Betta talks about her personal failures and Sayan and Leyla share some precious advice to help understand how failures make us stronger and braver. Feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Listen to Episode 5 on SoundCloud
Episode 4 - Stepping up your study habits
It's Wellness Week guys, and we're trying to do our best to keep a healthy life style. When everyone seems to say that work-life balance is the key for a successful study experience, we often think "yeah, whatever, you wouldn't say it if you knew about all my deadlines". But with a little bit of an effort, we can make it happen :) In this episode, Leyla, Sayan and Betta share tips on how to improve your study life and how to cope with an overwhelming study load. Do you want to share your tips too? Write to us at email@example.com
Listen to Episode 4 on SoundCloud
Episode 3 - Degree and career directions
Have you wondered how students make their choice when it comes to choose their degree and career path? In episode 3 our life-coach Leyla, Lucy and Sayan discuss the importance of transferable skills, having multiple plans, open-minded attitude and how to face future with a positive attitude.
Listen to Episode 3 on SoundCloud
If you have a topic you would like us to cover or if you want to be our guest, write to us at
Episode 2 – Finding new friends
In this episode our life-coach Leyla, Sayan and Lucy discuss a number of potential ways to find new friend at Uni or outside Uni. Whether you are an International or domestic student, you might find some useful tips to apply in social contexts and making new friends.
Listen to Episode 2 on SoundCloud
Find out about Sydney
University Library events such a Coffee and Croissants, Speed Meet and
Chats and much, much more.
and Croissants are held bi-month (during semester) at Bosch Commons and The
Quarter and monthly at Nursing Library, The Consevatorium of Music and Health
Other link from this episode:
Do you have any tips on how to find friends too? Email us at
Episode 1 - Starting the semester off right
This week the POD is upgrading your University experience with tips on how to start your semester right, and stay right! Here in Episode 1 we are all about gearing ourselves up to plan our semesters, talking strategies, feels, healthy student advice, and that it’s never too late to bounce back, start over, and be a better student at any point along the way. Join your POD for this episode: your trusty host Life Coach Leyla, joined this week by Sayan the Go Getter, and Betta, she’s not just good she’s better! as they share their pro-tips and take you on a romantic-comedy-high-action journey of self-discovery towards making you even better than you were last semester.
Listen to Episode 1 on SoundCloud
Do you have a question for the podcast? Email us!