Now Reading: Preparing for university, a checklist for international students

Preparing for university, a checklist for international students

Going to university is an exciting milestone full of wonderful opportunities. You’ll make new friends, realise your educational dreams and bring yourself one step closer to a successful career. But before you embark on this fulfilling new journey, it’s important to be prepared. From knowing where to buy your textbooks to exploring Orientation Week activities, there are a few key steps you should take to ensure you’re as ready as you possibly can be.

Luckily for you, this checklist outlines everything you need to know about being prepared for your studies at Torrens University Australia.

  1. Choose your subjects

Subject selections – also known as enrolment or registering for classes – should be your first step in the new academic year. As a Torrens University student, you will be notified by email when subject selection is open, with a link to the Student Portal login page. From there, you can explore subjects available to you and register for subject classes in your course.

You may notice that some subject classes are full when selecting them – but don’t worry! You can add yourself to a waiting list and if a spot becomes available, you will be notified. Always ensure the subjects you are choosing are available at the campus you are enrolled to.

If you need more information on subject selections, get in touch with Student Services who will be able to help you explore your options.

  1. Check your timetable

If you find yourself wondering how to prepare for first-year university, the best place to start is your online learning platform, such as Student Hub at Torrens University. When you log in, you will find where to access your online subject timetable when it is made available, which for Torrens University will be 15 February. By familiarising yourself with your timetable and when classes will be held, you’ll ensure that you know exactly where you need to be and when. You can then start planning how you’ll get to campus and travel between classes to ensure you’re always on time.

For international students outside Australia, and anyone else studying online, consulting your timetable early gives you ample time to figure out when live online sessions are scheduled and whether there’s a time difference between your time zone and that of any live online sessions. This will help you make sure you never miss a class, so you can easily stay on top of your coursework.

  1. Explore online resources

If your course doesn’t require textbooks, or you prefer to use online resources, the beginning of the academic year is the perfect time to explore resources you might find helpful during the year for your research and assignments.

Torrens University’s online library collection is the most comprehensive online resource available to you as a student. From here, you can find an extensive list of peer-reviewed literature, articles, ebooks, and much more. Google Scholar is another helpful resource for finding scholarly literature. You can even link Google Scholar to Torrens Library, which will give you more access to particular articles or ebooks.

  1. Familiarise yourself with relevant software

For many of our international students, online learning in 2021 is going to be the norm. That means you’ll be using a variety of student software to facilitate your studies. For instance, you’ll be expected to attend virtual lectures, so you’ll need to become well-versed in video conferencing programs and/or virtual classroom tools, like Zoom or Blackboard Ultra.

Similarly, depending on your field of study, you will likely use student software tailored to your course. For example, if you’re studying game programming, you may need to familiarise yourself with Unity or Unreal. On the other hand, if you’re studying to become a graphic designer, it’s worth acquainting yourself with Photoshop. Exploring these platforms before or early on in your university journey is one of the best steps you can take to prepare for university classes.

  1. Check out our Orientation activities

Orientation Week is an excellent opportunity to prepare for university. Orientation sessions allow you to explore your campus and meet some of your peers and faculty members. For international students at Torrens University, attending an orientation session is also compulsory.

Orientation sessions are held on multiple dates across various Locations, so you can easily choose one that fits your schedule. The best part? Whether you’re doing on-campus or online learning in 2021, there are orientation sessions available to you.

Torrens University hosts on-campus sessions throughout February in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. They’re also conducting online orientation and workshops on topics like self-care, goal setting and peer-to-peer networking. So, even if you’re studying remotely, you’ll still feel like an involved member in their student community.

  1. Explore student support services

There’s no doubt that transitioning to university life is exciting. That said, it can also feel challenging and overwhelming at times. After all, you’re adjusting to a new workload, new ways of learning and new academic expectations. It’s a lot to take on all at once – but you’re not alone. When you go through a rough patch, Torrens University has your back. Be sure to research their student support services so that you can easily take advantage of them when you need to. Study Success Workshops are available to assist students with their assignments.

At Torrens University, Success Coaches are on staff as supportive professionals who advise and encourage you throughout your studies. They also help you improve your employability by running workshops every trimester that explore topics like resume and cover letter writing, online branding and successful interview techniques. The ultimate goal of Success Coaches is to ensure you get the most out of your university experience, and they’ll do whatever they can to make that happen.

Doing online learning in 2021? No problem! Torrens University Success Coaches are hosting several online workshops for students across a variety of disciplines, including business and hospitality, design and creative technology, and health and education. These online workshops will help keep you connected and reap the exact same benefits as on-campus students.

Additional assistance

At Torrens University we also have dedicated International Student Advisors who can assist new international students with their transition to University and Australia by providing online sessions to assist with getting started on the education journey, managing the Peer 2 Peer Program, and assisting with any Student Visa, overseas health cover questions and much more.

Are you starting university for the first time? Check out this blog which has specific tips for newcomers.

Rebecca MacFarlane, Insider Guides
29 Jan 2021

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