As an international student, you may think that you’re only eligible to attend your assigned classes. The truth is, your tuition actually included several other beneficial facilities that you can enjoy in your university! In fact, All institutions offering education to international students are required by the Australian law to provide support services. The purpose of this support facility is to help international students study and adapt to their new home in Australia (https://timest.com.au/education-service/australia-education-system/).
Here are some facilities in your university that you may enjoy as an international student:
- Pre-departure briefings
Even before you set your foot in Australia, you are entitled to attend a pre-departure briefing in your home country. Most universities in Australia do have a partnership with your local education agency to hold this pre-departure briefing. The sole purpose of this briefing is to clarify your doubts and give you the opportunity to ask questions regarding your departure. In general, the pre-departure briefing will explain you further details about topics such as:
- adapting to the Australian education system (https://timest.com.au/education-service/australia-education-system/)
- prepare for your commencement: what you need to know to get started and access study support services
- accommodation advice and support
- services and tips for your safety and security
- orientation activities you can join
- working while studying
Commencing international students and their families are invited to participate in these pre-departure briefings.
- Free airport pick-up service
Some universities do provide a free airport pick-up service for international students to take you to your accommodation. For further information about bookings and availability, please check your university website.
- Orientation program
Most universities do have an orientation program designed for international students to attend. This orientation program is held to introduce and familiarize students with their university surroundings. In addition, this program is also the perfect opportunity for international students to gain new friends and start their networking. The orientation program is commonly held a week prior to the commencement of the first teaching week. For further information, please check your university website.
Most universities have student-run clubs that you may join as an international student. There are a wide selection of clubs for students, ranging from anime and chess fanatics to lovers of performing arts and the outdoors, medieval enthusiasts and volunteer groups. Clubs generally provide a unique opportunity for you to try out new things and explore what most interests you. It is also common for clubs to organise fun activities such as trips and social events. Whether you want to meet people who share the same hobbies, who like the same music, or if you just want somebody to hang out with, clubs can be an important part of your student life. If you can’t find a club that you like, it is also possible for you to start a new one!
- Student associations
Student associations give you the opportunity to influence campus life. Just as the name suggests, student associations represent students. The associations usually consist of representatives elected by students whose role is to liaise with the university to provide services, facilities, and amenities in the campus. There are plenty of ways you can get yourself involved in the student association such as through writing for the student newspaper, organising events for the orientation week, and many other more. Not only does it give you a great uni experience, participating in the student associations will also help you to develop important life skills such as leadership and teamwork.
We care about your health and wellbeing. Every university in Australia is required by law to have qualified and experienced counsellors which provide a free and confidential counselling service for international students. In a counselling session, you can seek advice on personal, social and academic matters such as:
- culture shock and homesickness
- depression, stress and anxiety
- relationship/family problems
- accommodation problems
- academic difficulties
For further information, please check your university website.
- Academic and English language skills assistance
Since you are new to the Australian education system (https://timest.com.au/education-service/australia-education-system/) and English may not be your first language, this facility is very crucial for you to utilise. Most universities provide academic and English language support services, such as individual tutoring and workshops, to help international students adjust to their studies and life in Australia. You might also find English language conversation groups that encourage local and international students to meet and practise their language skills while learning about other cultures. Even the most skilled English speakers may struggle to understand people at first because of the distinct Australian accent.
Surprisingly, not every international student fully acknowledged the library facility in their university. Not only can you use the physical library as a venue for you to study and read, but it is also very common for each university to have an online library guide. This online library is very useful when doing your research for assignments, as there are millions of academic journals, reports, and many other resources available. For further information, please check your university or enquire your assigned faculty.
Now that you know what facilities you are entitled to as an international student, we hope you are able to make the most of them and further improve your studies. Good luck!