With Australian universities commencing classes in around a month, now is the perfect time to get a head start on the new semester. We’ve put together five tips to help you prepare for the academic year.
Browse through course guides
Your subjects’ course guides will give you an idea of what learning materials (such as textbooks, folders, software and equipment) you will need, so it’s a good idea to have a quick read through these before the start of semester. Course guides will also outline what you will learn throughout the semester, the types of classes you will participate in and the assessment items for the course.
Start looking through your textbooks
If your subjects require textbooks, try to source these before the semester begins. This will help you beat the queues at the university bookshop in the first week back or allow plenty of time for delivery if you buy your books online. Once you have your textbooks, why not do some reading? This will give you a head start on the content you will cover during the semester and make it easier to follow along with new topics once classes go back.
Organise your accommodation
If you’ve just arrived in Australia, or are looking to move from your current accommodation, it is best to organise your living situation before university starts back — you don’t want to feel stressed leading into the first week of semester. It will be easier to organise all your accommodation needs while you have some extra time on your hands, rather than trying to plan and organise things around classes and assessment. If you’ve already found a place to live, you may consider things like furniture or appliances you need to buy, how to get to around (is there public transport close or will you need access to a car?) or how you will budget for the upcoming semester, taking into account costs such as rent payments, utility bills, groceries and transport. See Accommodation for more information.
Attend O-Week events
In the lead up to the start of semester, you’ll find that institutions host a variety of events to help students prepare for the year ahead — particularly if you’re a new student. Most of these events occur during Orientation Week (O-Week), which usually takes place the week before classes begin. Common events and activities include campus tours, study skills workshops and opportunities to sign up to student clubs and societies. There will also be a variety of information sessions, including tours of the library, help for international students and information about student services. You can also expect a range of social activities that encourage students to meet new people and make friends. See The international student’s guide to O-Week for more information.
Make the most of the extra free time
Before you start classes, you should make the most of the time you would otherwise spend studying. This might include spending time interning at an organisation of interest, completing volunteer work or simply taking on extra shifts at work so you have some extra money saved up for the new year. If you’re new to Australia, why not spend some time getting to know your new local area or exploring some of your state’s best tourist attractions?