Scholarships took them to Gold Coast’s prestigious Bond University – but it is family and friends that ensure three Toowoomba high achievers keep coming home to visit.

Former Fairholme College students Emma Bastian, Grace Scanlon and Sharyn Osborne all received scholarships to Bond University near the end of last year. Emma received the Bond University Vice Chancellor’s Elite Scholarship, while Grace and Sharyn were recipients of the Bond University Collegiate Scholarship.

Now well into their first year at university, all three students are settling in to university life. Law and business student Emma says she has adjusted easily. “I haven’t found it hard to adjust at all, because I was so wanting it and so ready for it,” she explains. “I wanted to be at Bond so badly, I wanted to be at the Gold Coast so badly, I wanted to have that lifestyle of being able to go to the beach and have all these amazing interstate friends.”

However, commerce student Sharyn admits it took time for her to settle in to her new surroundings. “Living on campus was really new to me,” she says. “It took a few weeks of getting used to because everyone’s living within 100 square metres of everybody so you’re constantly surrounded by people, whereas if you go to school and go home, it’s completely different.”

Having known each other since Grade 6, the trio say while they now all have different friendship groups, they often end up in a class or a social netball team together – and being able to lean on each other while they were first settling in has been invaluable. Despite loving life on the Gold Coast, all three have made trips back to Toowoomba during their first year, keen to catch up with friends and family. “I find it’s [Toowoomba] a bit of a safe,” says Grace. “You go back and it’s calm and relaxing. It feels like home.”

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