About

  My name is Maria Lockard, and I’m a current student     at Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia. This blog is about my  experience. Feel free to comment and ask questions  and follow my blog for more updates :]faq

Q: What led me to choose Hillsong International Leadership College?

A:

Story… I was 13 when the random thought to do a missions trip to Australia was in my mind (that didn’t happen though) Then when I was 15 I clearly heard God call me to the country Australia. He used Isaiah 42 to really speak to me directly about it. I said yes, thinking I was signing up to be a missionary one day in the future to Australia. Made sense at the time, missions was on my heart. Later on, I might have been 17, I found Hillsong College on Youtube! I saw a College Year summary video or something like this and I remember clearly thinking, I HAVE TO BE THERE! I WANT IN ON THIS!!! This is where God first stirred my heart for College. Then when I was on a missions trip in South Africa when I was 17, God was speaking a lot to me through Abraham’s story/calling. I’d been accepted to a school very similar in Texas called the Honor Academy. I was familiar with it, my sister had gone there, etc. It was safe, comfortable, doable. But in South Africa God asked me to obey His original calling for me to go to Australia and to go to Hillsong. I said YES! I was so excited, I was ready to go that coming semester – I was eager to do it! But, also using Abraham, God reminded me that after He gave the promise it took 25 years for God to cultivate Abraham’s character and prepare him to be a father of nations. I wasn’t ready to go just yet, I needed the next year to prepare and also save money. So I got 2 jobs, worked, and boom – here. Haha, in a nutshell, that’s how God led me here. =] Practically why I chose Hillsong College: It’s seriously a world class college. I’m not just saying this. The trainers we get to hear from, the church we get to be a part of, the culture we have here – is nothing like any other place in the world (at least in my experience). I love that it’s not simply a “bible college”, where we get lots of head knowledge, but we are daily OUTWORKING everything we learning in classes through daily life and ministry. It’s incredible. It’s in Australia. The ‘ends of the earth’. Away from all I know. Away from comfort, security, familiarity. The perfect soil for God to do outrageous things in your life – you’ll be wrecked forever in the best way.

Q: Which campus is better? Hills or City?

A:

While there is no difference in the course academically, the main differences are straightforward: Do you like city life or suburban life?

In the city you live in the heart of downtown Sydney, live in flats/apartments. Living costs are a bit higher. Church-wise you sometimes link to the Hills campus (via video) when Pastor Brian is speaking. But with city campus you may have more of a ‘smaller church’ feel.

In the hills you live in a neighborhood in houses. Living costs are a bit lower.  Hills is the main church campus, so it is much larger, with thousands in attendance.  Hills campus is 1 bus away from the city (1 hour), and another bus after that to any beach.

Hope that helps!

Ask more questions and I’ll put more answers up 🙂

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35 thoughts on “About

  1. Hey Maria!
    I was just reading your blog today for the first time and I just wanted to thank you for it. It has blessed me so much and God has whispered in my ear about a few things in regard to Hillsong College:) College has been a God dream (a dream that is impossible without being completely dependent on Him) for me for about 3 years now. I am seriously considering attending because I’m ready to fully ready and excited to depend on only Him! I was just wondering, if you’re willing to share, what lead you to Hillsong College? 🙂

    • Hello, Janine : )
      Oh my, pardon my terribly late reply – what kind of blogger friend am I?!
      I do hope to make it up to you in person 😉
      To answer your question about what led me to Hillsong College, a series of events brought about by God’s leading.
      I was 13 when the random thought to do a missions trip to Australia was in my mind (that didn’t happen though)
      Then when I was 15 I clearly heard God call me to the country Australia. He used Isaiah 42 to really speak to me directly about it. I said yes, thinking I was signing up to be a missionary one day in the future to Australia. Made sense at the time, missions was on my heart.
      Later on, I might have been 17, I found Hillsong College on Youtube! I saw a College Year summary video or something like this and I remember clearly thinking, I HAVE TO BE THERE! I WANT IN ON THIS!!! This is where God first stirred my heart for College.
      Then when I was on a missions trip in South Africa when I was 17, God was speaking a lot to me through Abraham’s story/calling. I’d been accepted to a school very similar in Texas called the Honor Academy. I was familiar with it, my sister had gone there, etc. It was safe, comfortable, doable. But in South Africa God asked me to obey His original calling for me to go to Australia and to go to Hillsong. I said YES!
      I was so excited, I was ready to go that coming semester – I was eager to do it! But, also using Abraham, God reminded me that after He gave the promise it took 25 years for God to cultivate Abraham’s character and prepare him to be a father of nations. I wasn’t ready to go just yet, I needed the next year to prepare and also save money. So I got 2 jobs, worked, and boom – here. Haha, in a nutshell, that’s how God led me here. =]

  2. Hey Maria,
    I love your blog! It’s very encourage to me because I am apply to Hillsong College for Jan 2015. I was wondering if you get a lot of donations made from your blog and how you added the donation button to your WordPress?
    Any advise you have on sponsorship’s, the application or preparing are welcomed!

    Blessings,
    Jenn

    • Hi, Jenn!
      You can put a donation button via Widgets on WordPress.
      And I have only received donations once through that button in the last 2 years – but that donation was from a random stranger, and it was a gracious $1000! So you never know 🙂
      I haven’t had any technical ‘sponsorship’ being here, as some people do sometimes have, I’ve had several jobs here and still work to live here. But if you can get support from family, friends, and your church!
      Also, we are currently (for 24 more hours) having an Online Open Day for Hillsong College. You can go to the link and chat with students from Hillsong College right now, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have!
      http://hillsong.com/college/online-open-day
      See you!

  3. Hi Maria,

    I think it’s awesome that you are following your dreams, and most importantly the will God has for your life. I am currently working with someone who will begin attending Hillsong college in January 2015. Could you possibly email me about the overall pricing of the experience based on your experience there. ie. expenses per year including tuition, living, food, utilities, books, and other expenses.

    Thanks,
    Spencer

  4. Hey Maria!
    So I am off to join you at HILC in January 2015! and i have a hard time getting the admissions department to answer some questions i have and i was hoping either you or someone you know could enlighten me with some answers! First off your blog has been such a blessing from God for me. You have given some great insight as to what my time will be like there. Anyway, i am entering into the music stream as a guitar player and really don’t want to pay to ship my rather large and not very expensive amp overseas as i am coming from the states. How cheap are the amps there and does the school or a student have one i can borrow until i can make such a purchase. If living in college housing what are the rooming situations like, and how is the rent and utilities split? Do I need to apply for an Australian driver’s license if i want to drive there and finally, how difficult is the coursework. I hope you don’t find this too difficult to answer! I hope God continues to send His LOVE and BLESSINGS!

    • Hey Zach!! So exciting!!!
      I wouldn’t bring your amp here. There are probably some you can borrow or purchase cheaply here.
      They divide water,gas, and electric evenly between the housemates. They’re billed every three months, while rent is every two weeks.
      You can drive here with an American license, as long as it isn’t expiring, of course.
      It’s only if you decide to live here you’d eventually need an oz license.
      The academics here you can’t compare to America’s. vastly different. I think it’s easier here. It’s also pretty much impossible for you to fail. The grading system is Competent or Not Yet Competent. If you get an NYC, you simply correct your mistakes. The academics get more and harder with each year, and if you do the Degree program for a BA in Theology obvi the coursework will be heavier. But don’t sweat it 😉 you’ll be great here!! 🙂

  5. Hi Maria ! I’m Katelyn and I’m 15 going on 16 .However God has placed it on my heart to attend this college ! I am so excited ! I’m an American from Houston Tx btw. I was wondering what a typical day at College would be like ! I want to know I you will get to interact with real staff members like Melodie Wagner or Aodhan King ? Because I want to pursue the Creative and Worship Team , I was wondering if I would get some pointers from the Big Dogs 😁 like them . I know that there must be an influx of immensely talented people streaming through the doors of College ,but I often wonder how possible it would be for me too actually one day be part of that Hillsong Dream . I have been praying daily to God and I no doubt that he has big dreams for me ! (cough cough)… Jeremiah 29:11 , but yeah like if you could tell me how possible it could be for me to record songs with them !!! I also wanted to know that when I go to College,I know that these Aussies drive on the right side of the road !! 😃 Holy Smokes ..Would I have to learn as well !! Thank you so much for your time Maria ❤ God bless you ..

    • Hi, Katelyn!
      That’s so awesome that you want to come to Hillsong College, if you come you will grow so much! God is doing heaps here, it’s a great place to be.
      To answer your question, you won’t be trained by Melody or Aiden etc, but you will probably meet them at some point. But they have very busy lives so you wouldn’t be ‘hanging out’ with them, if that’s what you’re picturing. They aren’t involved in College. But the training staff for the Creative Stream in College are amazing and you’ll learn a TON from them! Yes, every student that comes here is insanely gifted, but everyone pretty much learns while you’re here that your gifts and talents themselves can only take you so far. Here you will not only grow in your gifts, but your character. It’s really an incredible journey. I’ve been learning more and more that it doesn’t even matter so much what I do, but who I’m becoming.
      If you come to Hillsong College for 1, 2, or 3 years, you will definitely grow in your identity in Christ, as a person, and as a leader.
      Keep praying : ) God will always lead you to the best. <3xxMaria

      Oh and P.S. I’ve been here 2 years and haven’t driven here yet! Haha. I take the bus, so I don’t know what the challenges are for driving… But many students drive, so it can’t be that hard 😉

  6. hey maria zach again. couple last minute questions. How do you pay your rent? with checks or a card? or do they just deduct it from an account. also, what bank do you use/whats the best bank for students there? also ILL SEE YALL IN LIKE THREE WEEEKS!!!!! AHHH IM SO EXCITED!!!!!

    • Hey Zach! 🙂
      They let you choose how you pay, whether they will automatically take it out of your bank, or you can manually transfer the money to them every two weeks.
      Most students use Westpac. It’s a popular bank, it’s free and easy. I’ve had no issues with it 🙂

      • THANKS!!!! Maria you have been an amazing blessing in my journey to HILC! Im so excited and ready to be drenched in the Holy Spirit for the next however many years of my life I will be there. I can not wait to meet you! Follow me on instagram filled_with_bloodandfire! and lets def meet up when i get there! Hope He is covering you in Love and Grace!!!!!!!

  7. Hey Maria,
    I’ve been reading your blog recently and its been so helpful. God has put Hillsong College on my heart back in 2013 and I was planning to go in January 2016, so I can work a bit before. But God’s plans are different and I feel called to go in July 2015, so yeah not long now. But I do have a few questions if you don’t mind. Firstly how long did it take you to find a job? Also I don’t know what campus to pick. If you don’t mind me asking why did you pick hills. I’m not really a city person, but there would be more jobs. Thanks Maike 🙂

    • Hi Maike!
      Every person is different, and I really don’t think it matters a whole lot whether you’re at City or Hills for finding a job. God has jobs for you any place you are.
      I got one job after a few months I think. Some get one their first week here, some wait a year. Honestly, depends on your journey 🙂
      I’m bias for Hills campus, of course. But honestly, if you’re not a city type person, I don’t suggest going to city. It’s also cheaper living expenses in Hills. Just sayin 😉

  8. Hey Mariah!
    So recently I had this heavy feeling on my heart to not only grow closer to God, but I actually have a dream to speak to girls around the world and show them the love of their true Father. Obviously past experiences influenced part of this, but I believe God is telling me something. I’m actually in college now getting a degree in communications, I will graduate May of 2016, but I came across Hillsong and was intrigued. How did you decide you wanted to go there and how did you decide that was the right decision?

    • Hey, Hayley!
      That’s so awesome that God is putting His passions and desires in your heart. Keep listening.
      God called me to Australia and after I said yes, whatever this looked like (be it a missionary or anything else), a year later He showed me Hillsong College. I’ve always loved missions and want to be a missionary, and Hillsong College has a Social Justice pathway under Pastoral Leadership. I loved that it’s not just a normal Bible college. Here you outwork and practice everything you’re learning. It’s great leadership training for any aspect of life/ministry.
      How did I decide coming was the right decision? I think every person has to make that choice themselves – following God’s leading and what the Holy Spirit impresses upon your own heart. But no matter what, I don’t think coming here for at least a year before you venture out into ministry would ever be wasted time. God’s not in a hurry, so I think taking the time to prepare is always a good choice.

  9. Hey Maria!
    Thank you so much for how honest you are with your journey leading to hillsong college.God pressed it on my heart to one day go there, my plan was Jan 2016, to which God said NO , probably because He wants to take more time preparing me and growing me as well as financially for the Semester or year this dream actually comes to pass.You sharing how it doesn’t happen at once has really encouraged me.Thank you and may God continue to do amazing works in you, both during your time at the college and beyond.Maria.x

    • Praise God that He doesn’t ever give us more than we are capable of handling right now. I just learned tonight that to keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5), we are to keep at HIS pace, not ours. We worry that we will miss something- but He is positioning us for His blessings every day. Walking with Him we never miss out- I pray you know you lack nothing in your current season and that you experience His love so intimately as He leads you to leap. XxMaria Sent from my iPhone

      >

  10. Hi Maria! I’ll start off by saying, as I am slowly feeling more and more call to HILC – your blog has been a life saver. I just can’t get a striaght forward reponse on any blog about this topic…What is the difference between the Hills and City campus? Which one should I choose? What will I miss out on if I choose one over the other? Which campus do most student chose and why?
    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into responding to people! It’s such a blessing!
    merci! -Cheri Roohi

    • Hi, Cheri!
      The City campus is located in downtown Sydney.
      The Hills campus is located in a suburb of Sydney.
      Hills is the main church campus. This means when Pastor Brian and Bobbie are in town, they are here. Also when they’re here or when some guest speakers are here, they’re at Hills, and City links to us and watches on a screen.
      The City campus is much smaller, so it also depends if you want that city feel as well as smaller or if you prefer more out of the city and its a larger church campus.
      I’m at Hills and love it! Living costs are cheaper and I love being at the main campus, plus I’m not a city-living kind of person.
      So it’s really up to you what you like!

  11. Hi Maria,

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog after researching and inquiring about Hillsong College. Firstly, I just feel God has put it on my heart to say, thank you for creating this blog; for all your time, effort and honesty. God bless you dearly.

    So..
    I am from London and attend Hillsong Church London. God is doing great things here in London, we just had our Colour Conference 2015 with over 10,000 women in our SSE WEMBLEY AREA! (Which, can I say was truly life changing). Having speakers from the likes of, Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Christine Caine, Dawnchere Wilkerson and of course Bobbie & Brian Houston! I just can’t put it into words, what has done during this conference. Which leads me into the reason why I find myself writing a comment on your blog today!…

    I am a Social Work graduate since November 2014, one of my greatest achievement in life so far. God has given me a heart for the broken, marginalised and vulnerable, I just can’t even put it into words. My heart hurts for those in poverty, abuse, sickness and those who feel there’s no way out. I just deeply feel God has placed it on my heart to bring hope to the hopeless and be blessing in the lives of others. (He’s placed a vision in my heart I just don’t know how to get there!)

    However since finishing my degree and graduating, my passion, enthusiasm and profound love for Social Work went just like that! I just felt Social Work would be holding me back, I want to impact lives in a tangible way through Gods word and love. (But I just don’t know what and how!). I just feel like, why would God want me to go straight into ministry, I feel too young and unqualified. (If it is ministry He wants me to go into). But I’m still trying to figure out if my passion for Social work departed due to the trials and challenges I faced in my final year of uni or the disappointment and rejecting finding a job being so young, qualified and inexperienced. It’s been extremely hard watching friends who are believers also non believers receive opportunities and effectively breakthroughs. (When God loves us all the same). Which led me to a really low place inwardly (never showing it) and brought me back to my past thoughts of never being enough. However I continued to kept pushing, taking things day by day..

    I landed a job in retail, mind you I absolutely love my company and I’m happy! God has given me so much favour being there and I’m thriving. But let’s face it, that’s not what I want to do.

    Since attending Hillsong London (For almost a year now), and having heard of the Hillsong College it has always interested me but never thought much of it. I’ve always just loved the thought but would say “come on Sandra that’s never gonna happen!”. But since Colour Conference 2015 (two days ago), hearing Joyce Meyer preach a sermon entitled “When God doesn’t pick you”.
    I have never felt such a strong feeling in my spirit / heart leading me towards going to Hillsong College. I believe this past months in my job and graduating, has purely been a time for me to save money, reflect on my future and focus on the call God has placed on my heart. I just can’t explain it but, I just NEED to go to Hillsong College. I believe God is calling me to segregation, stepping out of my comfort zone where I’m not familiar with faces, or surroundings. Where I can merely put my faith and trust in Him (not going to family or friends) and thoroughly learn and been enriched in His word. He is definitely calling me to walk by faith and not by sight! I just believe this opportunity, will equip me with the skills and tools to set me up in my future of serving my purpose.

    Finally.. As of now I haven’t applied I am still considering and pondering. However I feel the enemy is trying to creep in, and divert me! I keep thinking of all the logistics / negatives, I.e your the baby of the family how can you go to the other side of the world without anybody for a whole year!? What are you going to eat, how will you have money, where are you going to shop, does Australia have the same shops like London?! Am I going to miss all my family / friends gatherings, as silly as that all sounds I know. I’m a real Londoner and haven’t been out of the country for more than 2 weeks so this is a BIG DEAL! Yes, I’ve been away from my family for uni, but I could always just hop on the train and go back to see them or pick up anything I’ve left! But I can’t in this instance haha. I’m so sorry I’ve written such a massive essay, I’ve just gotten so carried away. I haven’t spoken to much people about it so I’ve just let it all out!

    As of now I’m working, and trying to save. I’m hoping to apply for Hillsong College in Jan 2016 intake. As I would like to save a lot, to give me a good start up. As GBP (£) is always heavier, then it’s exchanged to AUD it will be more luckily! I have made the decision I will probably apply for the Hills campus, having read all your blogs / comments.

    That’s pretty much it for now.

    I’m really looking forward to your response, I’ve written heaps so if you can’t respond to everything that’s absolutely fine!

    Once again God bless you for this blog.
    Take care and Love from London!
    Sandra x

    • Hi Sandra!
      Sorry I just found your comment!!
      It sounds like you have your answer.
      The Enemy will always creep in when there is in passivity or hanging back from making a decision for God. So, if you haven’t already, make the DECISION and commit that you are coming here in January, and take the actions to move forward with that decision.
      So proud of you for stepping out in faith. God will bless it and grow you in leaps and bounds here! Everything you said is correct. And God will take care of you along this faith journey : ) It will be so worth it and He will confirm His will to you and speak and move through you as you keep walking forward.
      See you!!!

  12. Hi, hello, greetings.
    (My doubt doesn’t quite apply to this subject but… I’ve always been struggling between my own desires and dreams and I’m quite afraid of following it and not knowing if it is really God’s plan or just my own thinking, I am insecure, but I look forward to follow His footsteps, and the future is quite scary, but I wait in Him, who knows everything.)
    I loved your posts about Hillsong College and your growth in it. It’s been a while since I got interested in maybe studying there one day, so I wonder what are the differences between the Hills and the City Campus, like, will I be able (time and transportation) to attend services on Hills if I study in the city? What are the pros and cons?
    I’m looking forward to your answer.
    Best regards. Thank you!

  13. Hi Maria, this blog is amazing and really helpful. I have desire to attend college, and take the worship music course the next year but I need a little help from you. I am 29 years old, recent married. I want to know some things:

    1. What is the routine every day? At what time the class begins and ends? I will have time to work outside the college? (I am architect)
    2. If I want to rent an apartment there how much do you think this will cost?

    Thanks in advance
    God bless you every day more and more.
    Best regards. Thank you!

    • Hello, Carlos!

      Monday-Wednesday are your class days, but you’d be out around 3-4pm.
      Thursday morning you’d have Hillsong Men (women have Sisterhood) and possibly a class as well as your ‘weekend serving’, where you will serve in a certain area in the life of Hillsong Church.
      Friday & Saturday you typically have off so you can, therefore, work those days if you want.
      Sunday is church day of course 😉 where you’ll attend and serve at our morning and night services.

      So work-wise you are looking at weekends and depending on the job evenings monday-wednesday.

      And there are apartments right across the street from college (Hills campus-wise), and if you go in on it with other students/couples it can be around $100 per week.

      Hope that helps! 🙂 Any other questions you have regarding accommodation for college you can email collegehousinghills@hillsong.com
      For more information you can go to the college website as there is a lot of information there for you. hillsongcollege.com

      See you soon! 🙂

  14. Hey Maria! I’m currently about to enter my last year of high school here in the U.S. and I am extremely interested in attending Hillsong College in July of 2016! However, my parents are a little skeptical and we have some questions that I feel could be better answered by another person who made the journey from the USA to Sydney. Basically our number one confusion right now lies in the finance department. We’ve tried calculating a rough estimate of what one year would cost there, but I feel like we are misinterpreting the fees somehow. Honestly it just seems like the price would be much higher than what we calculated. Is there any way you could give me a rough estimate of how much one full year at HILC cost for you (in U.S. dollars if it’s possible)? I would be so grateful!

    • You’re looking at the high estimate being about $1200 per month (the only thing that would need be added to that number would be your School Fees amount).
      But you can definitely live on less than that depending on how you spend your money. = )
      And to give you some perspective on wages here as well, I work 16 hours a week and I make approx. $900-1000 a month as a barista.
      Hope that helps!

  15. Hi Maria,

    I commented on your blog around May 2015, for more information about the college as I have been considering attending. I can now say I have officially applied and have now been accepted for the January 2016 intake!

    I have so grateful and humbled for this opportunity. I’m extremely excited also nervous for this new journey ahead.

    I just wanted advice or little tips, for what next.. I’m coming from the UK (London). I’m not too sure what happens now really, in terms of visas etc. We are about 5 months away!

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    Love Sandra x

  16. Hi Maria, first thank you for this blog like many have mentioned it has been a blessing. I wanted to ask because I am a bit confused, so there is a “dorm” type option for living on campus? Is that the accommodation fee? And then from there you pay for utilities and rent or how exactly does that work? Thank you!

    • College Accommodation is an option you can use because they will ‘get a house for you’. You will pay rent to them (they will be the go between you and the actual house landlord).
      This is only if you request to be in College Accommodation. You do pay a certain fee for them to do this for you. I definitely recommend doing this especially for your first semester in college since everything is new.
      However, if you know people here or have other means of getting into a ‘non college house’, you can do this on your own if you choose to.
      Any other info on housing for college you will find here:
      http://hillsong.com/college/accommodation/
      Hope that helps!

  17. Hi!!! I just found your blog and it is amazing! Hank you for sharing your experiences and answering questions! I currently go to hillsong NYC. I am applying for July 2016 intake. I wanted to
    Ask how did your family feel about you going all the way to Sydney? I feel so strongly that this is where God is leading me to go, but I have not had much support from my family. Which can be discouraging. Did you have support from your family? How soon after you arrived were you able to find a job and support yourself?

    I hope your doing amazing!

    Paris!

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