We would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to learn as much as you can about your campus, and the staff and services at ACU. They can provide you with invaluable information before you get busy with your timetable and classes (not to mention exams and assignments!). You will find a number of staff and students available to help you and of course if you have questions and you don’t know who to ask you can always come and see us at the International Office.
We’ve put together some ideas about how to get through those first few weeks at university:
- Get involved with your peers and your campus
Having friends to chat to and support you through Uni is a great thing. Orientation and the first few weeks of classes is a great opportunity for this. Start early, be friendly and brave and chat to other students. You will find whether they are Australian or not they will be just as nervous as you about studying in their new course at a new Uni. You just need to be willing to work hard and be open to new learning styles and experiences.
- Find your local Student Association and clubs on your campus
This will be the main way you can hear about events and social activities that are on throughout the semester – a great chance to again meet new friends and get away from your books and study (for a short time that is!).
- Learn how to open and read your student emails
This is very important for knowing what’s happening around campus and the main way that ACU will contact you about important updates and reminders. We cannot stress how important it is that you read your student emails!
- Get to know the student support services on your campus
The goal of the International Office is to assist international students in all ways possible during their study while also encouraging you to be resourceful and independent. But the International Office is not the only service at ACU that can assist you! The Student Centre can answer many of your questions relating to enrolment, fees and student cards. The Academic Skills Unit can provide advice and assistance if you are having difficulty with assignments or finding the learning style at ACU very different to what you are used to. The Counselling Service provides confidential consultations to help deal with stress and anxiety related to your studies, your personal life or anything else that may be having difficulty dealing with.
- Your Course Co-ordinators are very important
You should consult with them when you are considering changing your enrolment or if you having difficulties with your studies. Make sure that you know who they are.
Some great tips have also been given from a past student, Mihye (Bachelor of Nursing, Brisbane) who knows from first-hand experience how it feels to be a new student:
- Do not panic about anything you may encounter down the road
Just take a deep and slow breath and stay vigilant if you find yourself getting embarrassed or feeling you’ve done something wrong. You will get used to the differences among several cultures and their consequences but be an active learner for the first few months.
- Try to imagine what you wish to be in the future
It will bring you not only a moment of happiness but also the specific and definite aims of what you are going to achieve. You will gain more confidence in planning and organising your time and resources as long as you put a great deal of effort into becoming the ideal image of yourself. Who said this wonderful comment: “when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realise his dream”?
If I feel a little bit bored, down in the dumps or even stressed out, I always try to find someone to be with me and have a nice time, talking and laughing loudly. Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it. It works most of the time!
So get involved and make use of all of the free services at ACU that are out there to help you and most importantly, do not be afraid to ask for help!
What are your survival tips for new international students?
Leave a comment and share your advice!