Orientation Day (Issue 13, 2009)

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Students at the Orientation Day lunch

Students enrolled in courses that require them to start the semester earlier were warmly welcomed by their faculty on Monday 6 July.

The welcome and orientation day made a start with a faculty overview by the Associate Dean (International) of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering, Dr Brian Usher. He talked to the students about their rights and responsibilities and gave them advice on making the most of this experience on every level, study and cultural experience. Professor Usher encouraged the new students to take advantage of the relaxed and approachable attitude of lecturers in Australia, who are available for questions and like to be challenged by the students.

Aniruddha Anil Desai from the Centre for Technology Infusion talked to students about the Australian learning style and how it might differ from that in their home country. Apart from the academic changes, the students will encounter changes in lifestyle and culture and it is important for them to know that there is help and advice available for them.

Part of the orientation was an open discussion with current students, who came to share their experiences here and answer to any of the new students’ questions.

‘I have been in Australia for two years, I concentrate on my studies and make the most of my experience here, I go out in the weekends, and I have never encountered any problems,’ says Biochemistry student Abhishek Aswathi.

Joel Evans from La Trobe International talked to the students about all the support services that the university has set up to make the transition to studying in a different country as smooth as possible.

Students and staff had the chance to talk more informally during lunch at the Nancy Millis Room. The day concluded with more practical advice about enrolment procedures and subject selection from Academic Services staff.

The University organises a Welcome Festival for international students every semester. This semester’s Festival commenced on the 20 July and will end on the 24 July, containing orientation activities meant to help students adjust to the new environment easily.