The start of each year witnesses thousands of new domestic and international students flocking to our city for the beginning of the University year.
Orientation week or as many students call it, ‘O-Week’, kicks off the week before classes start in early-mid February. It introduces students to campus life and is an opportunity to explore all that Canberra has to offer (not just the pubs and bars).
Getting amongst O-Week will help you meet other new students, become familiar with the campus and of course prepare for study. You will receive the all-important information about the academic faculty, support services, visa requirements, program and course advice, academic skills development, staying healthy and how to make the most of student life.
So, to help you get started here’s some key tips on how to make the most out of O-Week in Canberra.
In the weeks leading up to O-Week, it is important that students have completed the ‘essential checklist’ before they arrive.
For international students, this includes organising an appropriate visa, confirming accommodation details and making sure you have copies of important documents such as passports and academic transcript. It is also required that you activate your university email or set up a mail forward function if you use an account more often.
For domestic students, it’s important to firstly accept your offer and confirm your enrolment. If you’re coming from interstate, don’t forget to organise and confirm your accommodation on the first day of O-Week.. If you will be residing in a residential community (or as many people call it ‘Ressie’), check if you need to bring sheets and bedding with you, and the date you need to arrive so you don’t miss the welcome/information sessions.
Understand the serious stuff
O-Week provides the perfect chance to have any questions answered about your degree.
By attending course advise sessions you can meet faculty staff, find out course requirements including compulsory units, and meet other students enrolled in the same course. T
During the week, the campus will be swamped with Student Ambassadors to talk about any remaining issues or questions you may have. As current students, Student Ambassadors are a lifeline providing valuable insights from their past experiences.
Social events and activities is a big part of O-Week. They are a great way to meet new and current students in a fun and relaxing environment, on and off campus.
These events are particularly valuable for students moving to Canberra for university. With everyone in a similar position, they are a perfect way to kick-start making friends. The social events range from faculty welcome events and study skill classes to university-wide festivities in the city at night.
Get out of your comfort zone
Clubs are another great way to meet people and involve yourself in university life. There are numerous extra-curricular clubs within each university. These groups appeal to every background and interest, with sporting, academic and alternative groups all waiting for your membership.
The majority of these clubs are advertised in market stalls throughout O-Week. From student unions to more niche areas, there is a place for everyone. Again, these groups provide a great way to expand your network with like-minded individuals, and ultimately enhance your overall university experience.
O-Week isn’t just about attending course advice sessions, it’s also a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the campus and your new home, Canberra. With a number of campus tours on offer, new students can become accustomed with the lay out of the university and find out where their lecture halls are located. For residential students, this may also consist of understanding more about their living facilities and the services available.
While local students may feel accustomed with Canberra, it is vital for international and inter-state students to become more comfortable with the major locations and transport routes in the city. Understanding the proximity of the university from the four major town centres and the quickest way to get around can be really helpful when settling in. A great way to start this is the free city loop ACTION bus around the city neighbourhood.
By understanding what the city has to offer you, you’ll set yourself up for a vibrant and exciting university experience in Canberra.