Extracurricular activities are a great way to settle into life on campus, explore your interests and make the most of your time in Australia. With a new semester around the corner, we look at the top five reasons to get involved on campus and provide a guide to help you get started.
You will be able to explore your interests: There are extracurricular opportunities for all passions — whether you’re interested in your institution’s political system, keen to get fit or want to share your love for a particular film era. For Harry Potter fans, you’ll even find Quidditch teams at some universities. Also look out for opportunities to see Australia, such as skiing trips, surfing lessons or outback escapes.
You’ll take your mind off study: When you’re busy running between classes and completing assessments, it’s good to take a break and focus on something other than looming deadlines. You’ll also find that you return to study feeling relaxed and refreshed, even if it’s just a half-hour catch-up over lunch.
You can boost your language skills: If you’ve come to Australia from a non-English-speaking background, you’ll quickly expand your vocabulary and benefit from chatting to new people about new topics. Your best bet is to join a book club, conversation group (there are many societies for international students) or an activity such as debating.
You can find course-related opportunities: Work experience is a great way to get the most from your study experience, and the best thing is that you can often find it on campus. Getting involved looks good on your résumé, showing employers that you’re motivated and work well in a team environment. Studying communications? Why not start contributing to the campus magazine? Business? How about starting up a weekly market stall or helping with planning or budgeting for a campus event?
You will make new friends: If you find yourself chatting to the same classmates every day, extracurricular activities are a great way to expand your friendship circle. You’ll also benefit from spending time with like-minded students who share your interests — so you might even make a friend for life.
Your institution will offer a range of extracurricular options. At large universities, you can expect hundreds of groups and societies that cater for just about any interest — beer appreciation, veganism, martial arts and charity work are only a few examples. To get started, check out your institution’s website or chat to the student services team. You might also ask your classmates if they’re involved in any groups or societies.
If you’re not interested in joining a society or committing to regular meetings or training sessions, you can also find one-off opportunities to help out. For example, you might sign up as a student representative for your institution’s open day or volunteer to show a new student around in their first week on campus.