AFLW Bulldogs star and VU student Ellyse Gamble excelled in her third year of the Bachelor of Education (P-12) – even in the midst of a global pandemic.

We stole five minutes from this super busy alumni to chat.

Ellyse shares how she’s found success with the VU Block Model, her new-found travel bug and why her practical placements have delivered some big realisations.

She also has some great tips for remote learning and keeping active.

5 questions in 5 minutes with Ellyse – & go!

1. What motivated you at uni?

Firstly, knowing I always wanted to be a teacher and getting closer to my goal.

I had two years off after school, so it was great to pursue something I was passionate about and get that real sense of achievement every time I completed a block.

Getting good grades is another motivator! My grades were even better than I’d hoped for and getting those helps propel me forward.

2. For anyone else juggling work & study commitments, how does VU’s Block Model help?

I know lots of people would be fearful that they can’t ‘do it all’. But the Block Model allows you to manage your different priorities and all those things outside of uni you love to do, and have to do. When we’re not in lockdown, in addition to training and playing I also find time to work at the VU Fitness Centre.

The VU Block Model ultimately gives you freedom.

3. What are your tips for staying sane & focused during study?

Completing one subject every four weeks with the Block, we have more frequent achievements to look forward to.

It’s actually been good having uni to distract me from isolation. I certainly haven’t been bored yet!

My study tip is don't put off taking breaks! You’ll always come back from a break more productive. I’m lucky to live near the Maribyrnong River – I go walking, running or riding every day and it re-energises me.

It’s important to stay connected with friends and family. I have catch ups with my team mates too, as often as we can.

4. What were some cool experiences you had at uni?

My placement in a primary school was a huge highlight. Before I started uni, I thought I wanted to be a secondary teacher.

Having the immersive experience in a school, I realised I loved working with primary-aged kids. Every day is different; they’re so funny!

I also discovered a love for new cultures and places. During mid-year break I travelled Europe on a month-long group tour. Highlights were picturesque Austria and Switzerland – with the most incredible white-water-rafting and mountain-biking experiences. It was a big step to travel alone, and I caught the travel bug to organise another trip with friends to Noumea and New Caledonia.

5. What advice would you give first years?

Whatever you’re doing in the moment – work, study, sport or whatever – focus on that and give it your all. So while you’re in uni mode, sport or work can wait.

Also, seek help and email your teachers – they’re always there to support you. Lastly, having an outlet really helps you stay balanced – so keep your passions outside of uni alive.

Study buddies: Ellyse with fellow VU student and Bulldogs player Zaine Cordy.

Ellyse looks forward to her next teaching placement after lockdown.

Want to find out more?

VU Block Model

Did you know that even while we're delivering our courses remotely, our students have the benefit of focusing on one unit at a time and getting more time with their teachers, thanks to the Block Model?

VU's award-winning Block Model is designed for students of all backgrounds, ages and stages of life.

Delivering one unit at a time for four weeks (rather than the traditional four units at once over 12 weeks), the Block Model allows you to focus more and stress less.

Other benefits include smaller, workshop-style classes, and a more streamlined timetable so you can maintain a life outside of uni.

Apply to VU

We offer world-class learning from short courses to postgraduate research – and with multiple intakes throughout the year, you don't need to wait till the new year to begin!

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Collaborating with exercise science student Mario Zabcic at VU's world-class sport facilities.