Keeping our community connected – at a distance

Keeping our community connected – at a distance

For many of us, social distancing has been one of the toughest parts of 2020. It’s easy to feel isolated from the people around us, even while we’re all doing our best to support each other. That’s why, here at La Trobe, we’ve been working hard to help all our students feel connected.

Patrick Pang and Shan Dai both travelled from China to study at La Trobe University and transitioned to online study during the first semester of 2020.

They each received scholarships to study at La Trobe: Patrick to study his Bachelor of Information Technology, and Shan to study her Master of Health Information Management.

For both of them, meeting new people and making friends have been some of the best things about studying in Australia. Now we’ve transitioned to online study, we wanted to know: do they still feel like they’re part of their university community?

Study and support services

As you’d expect, La Trobe’s library is a great place get help and find information, even without setting foot in the building.

Both Patrick and Shan have used the library’s website to find study resources, including textbooks and papers from previous exams. But La Trobe’s library services, including the teams normally based in campus libraries, are just as helpful online.

For Patrick, the ASK La Trobe team helped him transition into university life after his time with our pathway provider La Trobe College Australia:

‘When I successfully graduated from La Trobe College and started taking subjects at La Trobe University, the staff at ASK La Trobe gave me warm and thoughtful service and detailed answers, which helped me complete some of my admission procedures very efficiently.’

And for Shan, La Trobe’s technical support for students has enabled her to keep up with the research demands of a postgraduate degree, even without access to the library.

‘La Trobe’s VPN service allows me to review the full text of papers or other learning materials through Google Scholar while studying online,’ says Shan.

Online learning at La Trobe

For Patrick and Shan, online learning has been about more than just watching recorded lectures and taking online tests.

When faced with the added challenge of supporting students who are studying online, La Trobe teachers and academics are going above and beyond when presenting and explaining study topics.

Shan says the extra effort is paying off. ‘My teachers are very supportive – my lecturers are doing extra question-and-answer sessions, and some of the material actually feels more accessible.’

Patrick feels the same about his experience: ‘My experience is great. The high-quality online teaching has brought me a much more convenient and more efficient learning experience.’

We’re here for whatever comes next

You’ve heard it before: these are uncertain times, and we don’t know what the future holds. But we do know that the best way forward is together.

That’s why we work hard to assist all our students, both domestic and international.

‘I’ve received many emails from La Trobe reminding me to pay attention to my health and safety, as well as providing a seamless learning experience with many study tips,’ says Patrick.

‘This makes me feel a part of the university all the time while I’m away from campus and studying at home.’

That’s just one aspect of how we look out for your mental, physical and financial wellbeing while you study at La Trobe.

From our student support to online conversation clubs, we want to help you feel connected to our community – even if you can’t join us in-person just yet.

With our wide range of student services and generous scholarships, La Trobe is a welcoming destination for any international student. Find out more about how we support you while you study.

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