“My Sancta Friends Became My Family in Australia and Were There for Me During My Happiest Moments and Struggling Moments”

Canadian INternational Postgraduate Student, Jed Endaya, Reflects on his Sancta Journey

JULY 2020

Home: Canada

Degree: Doctor of Medicine, The University of Sydney

At Sancta: 2018 – 2019

Road to Sancta
I had a friend from back home also studying Medicine at The University of Sydney. When I asked him for accommodation advice, he told me about Sancta and connected me to a resident. The resident then told me about Graduate House and the extensive social and academic support given to Medicine students at Sancta.

Differences between life in Canada and Australia
The weather! I left Canada in -30C weather and arrived in Australia in the middle of a heat wave.

Best things about Sydney
The endless restaurants, cafes, art exhibits, and recreational activities within the city. Best thing is I got to explore and learn about these places with other Sancta residents.

Jed (left) enjoying Vale dinner celebrations with friends


Best things about Sancta
The convenience of being close to class and not having to worry about meals and cleaning. This made adjusting to my new life in Australia so much easier. Also, getting the opportunity to talk to people at the Dining Hall was a great stress reliever.

Standout memories of Sancta
The fun conversations in the Dining Hall that went on for hours, until we had leave because they had to close for cleaning. 

How did you get involved in the community?
Being a Resident Assistant allowed me to get to know a lot of other residents and gave me a sense of pride as a Sancta resident. It gave me an excuse to share with the community the wisdom I learned during my time in College.

What was the hardest adjustment you had to make?
I found my first weeks at Sancta particularly difficult because of the heat during the Australian summer. However, it got better as the days got cooler.

Advice for future international students
It is easy to fall into the trap of staying in your room, especially when you get busy with classes and university. However, my advice is to get out of your room to go and eat in the Dining Hall because it is a good way of clearing your mind and forgetting about your university work for a short time.

If a tourist had 24 hours in your home city, what tips would you give them?
Niagara Falls is just a 2-hour drive from Toronto, so I highly recommend getting out of the city and checking them out. There are many ways to view the Falls: on a boat, zipline, on a hole that looks behind the falls. It is just as beautiful in the winter (non-peak season) as it is in the other seasons!

Jed at Darling Harbour in the city


Moving forward from Sancta
I still have a few years left in my university program, but I hope is to stay in Australia and work as a doctor (hopefully, as an anaesthetist or in drug/alcohol rehab). Then, I want to travel the world and share my expertise through organisations such as ‘Doctors without Borders’ and ‘Partners in Health’.

Homesickness, culture shock and anxiety are common experiences for many international students. How did you manage this aspect of your experience?
Of all the people I met in my university program, the ones who also lived at Sancta became my closest friends. They became my family in Australia and were there for me during my happiest moments and struggling moments (e.g. exam season). Also, my family back home kept in touch with me using social media and video call.

If you could sum up Sancta in a few words, what would you say?
During my time at Sancta, I can say that I grew a lot in wisdom. I went from a clueless international student to an independent and confident person.

Do you have a message for the Sancta community?
The best memories I made at Sancta were not necessarily the big events that happened at College, but the little everyday moments. To the current residents, enjoy every second at College and do not forget to take lots of pictures!


Read more about Sancta’s international students