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A podcast by students, for students, about how to navigate uni life.
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PeerPod - Get the most from your uni life

Do you worry about how much you’re supposed to study? Or how much study stress is too much? Maybe you wonder if there’s better support, but you haven’t heard about it?

Then you should tune in to PeerPod!

PeerPod was launched in 2019 by the Library's Peer Learning Advisor (PLA) team. We're a team of current Postgrad students, who wanted to create a podcast about the ups and downs of student life, and share our lived experience to help other students better navigate uni.

We discuss how to make friends, level up your study skills, manage life stress, kick-start your career plan and everything in-between!

Every episode, you'll hear from real students about their real experiences, as well as expert guests who share their knowledge of the support available at uni, and how to access it.

Want to chat to a PLA?

We're on campus Monday to Friday! Drop in to ThinkSpace (JFR 204), CreateSpace (SWHB 417), the Quarter or Camden Commons. Check PLA locations and hours.

Be a guest on PeerPod

Do you have a unique insight into student life?

We'd love to hear your views, stories and experiences!

We're looking for student and staff to join us in the studio as guests in 2023. We’ll be discussing all sorts of topics related to student life, such as living on a budget, study skills, being an international student in Sydney, as well as advice for getting the most out of uni.

Register your interest now!
Student guest form
Staff guest form

Subscribe and listen now

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Episode 37 - Developing empathetic English

When preparing to study at an Australian university, students from a non-English-speaking background are taught to focus on developing their ‘Academic English’ skills to best succeed in their learning environment.

Once they commence their study in Australia, they soon discover how complex it is to understand and communicate in English on a day-to-day basis – from colloquial language to unique Australian slang, to the nuance of tone, pronunciation, and body language, and how this can be received by the people you’re speaking to.

In this episode, our host, Zakwan, sits down with fellow PLA Helia, and Avin from the Centre for English Teaching, to discuss the difficulties faced by students from non-English-speaking backgrounds and what support is available for students who want to develop their empathetic English skills.

Listen to Episode 37 on SoundCloud

Resources mentioned during the episode:

Episode 36 - R U OK? Day special

Uni life is tough, especially after COVID! You have to adjust to on-campus life, make friends, balance your course workloads, pass your exams, and still somehow manage to sleep and eat. It's not surprising that mental health is impacting so many students!!

In recognition of R U OK? Day, PeerPod is back with an all new episode about managing your mental health at uni. Our new host, Helia, sat down with the amazing Professor Ian Hickie, from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre, and Batyr Student Ambassador Risha to share their advice, experience and resources to help set you look after your mental health and get the best out of your time at uni!

Listen to Episode 36 on SoundCloud

Resources mentioned during the episode:

If you're having a hard time with your mental health and need support, you can reach out to:

  • Lifeline - Call 13 11 14 or text 0477 13 11 14
  • NSW Mental Health Line - 1800 011 511
  • Head to Health pop-up services -1800 595 212
  • BeyondBlue - 1300 22 46 36
  • Suicide Call Back Service - 1300 659 467

Episode 35 - Moving from uni to work

Have you thought about how you'll succeed in moving into work from uni? The transition from university into the workplace is a process not many people give attention to, even though it is one of the most significant changes a person can go through. For the final PeerPod of 2021, we sit down with Tina from the Careers Centre and Tanzin, a University of Sydney Engineering and Information Technology Alumni, who now works for Australia's largest steel making company. Tanzin shares with us her story of transitioning from uni to work and everything in between you need to know.

Listen to Episode 35 on SoundCloud

Resources mentioned during the episode from the University of Sydney Careers Centre:

Episode 34 - Inclusion vs belonging

Australian Universities strive to create an inclusive community for all students, but are their strategies working? In a special edition of PeerPod, Devanshi is joined by a co-host, Nicholas, from the University of Technology Sydney, who has worked as part of a collaborative project team exploring this issue. They're joined by Damien, a Sydney-based international student from Vietnam, who reflects on the intentions of his University's inclusion practices and how they have impacted his experience living and studying in Sydney. This episode was created with the support of Antara Narayan (UTS) and Victoria Bonilla-baez (USYD)

Listen to Episode 34 on SoundCloud

Episode 33 - Mental Health Month: What to expect when you first seek support

October is Mental Health Month, so we sat down with two counsellors from the University's Counselling and Psychological Services about what to expect when you attend your first appointment, as well as discuss some of the reasons why people hesitate reaching out to a support service, and what other services are available for students.

Listen to Episode 33 on SoundCloud

Resources mentioned during the episode:

  • University of Sydney Counselling and Psychological Services: Website
  • The Pomodoro Technique: Video
  • This Way Up: Website

Episode 32 - Building community: Faculty societies and student life

Adjusting to uni life can be tough; and feeling connected to your university community is now harder than ever - so what does it take to overcome these challenges and build a faculty culture that brings people together? We sat down with Nikki and Sam, from HealthSoc, and Angelina, from SASS, to explore how faculty societies work to enhance student life and the university experience, as well as uncovering what it takes to be a leader!

Listen to Episode 32 on SoundCloud

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: Christine Hindeleh Michelle Cheung 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 26 - Keeping focused: strategies for effective study

In this episode our Peer Learning Advisors, Sayan and Keerat, are joined by Alex, the Learning Hub Lead, to discuss their tips, tricks and advice for doing effective and efficient study! Tune in to learn how to identify and overcome unhealthy study habits to give yourself the best chance as you prepare for exams!

Listen to Episode 26 on SoundCloud

Resources mentioned during the episode:

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! 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

Don't forget to subscribe!

Listen to Episode 20 on SoundCloud

Episode 19 - PLA Insider - Tips For The Holiday Break!

End of semester, end of year, and we want to focus on what’s coming next! This week, we take time out and check in with some of the PLAs and PSAs, to see what they have planned for the break and what you could do with a summer in Sydney, NSW and hopefully Australia in general!

Listen to Episode 19 on SoundCloud

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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:

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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 8 - Welcome to Uni 2020

Welcome to PeerPod podcast 2020! We are Peer Learning Advisors and postgraduate students at The University of Sydney helping peers navigate through Uni life.

Listen to Episode 8 on SoundCloud

Write to us at

Subscribe so you don't get FOMO!

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

Listen to Episode 7 on SoundCloud

Useful links:

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 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

Useful links:

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

Listen to Episode 5 on SoundCloud

Useful links:

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

Listen to Episode 4 on SoundCloud

Useful links:

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

Useful links:

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.

Coffee 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 Sciences Library.

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!

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