As an international student, it is likely that you feel both excited and nervous about studying in Australia. It can be daunting for you. Being an international student myself, I have experienced those complex feelings as well. I have 5 tips for surviving your university life.
1. Attend and actively participate in lessons
The top priority at university is study. You need to make good use of your time in university to achieve the most out of it. So, the first thing to do is to attend every lesson. It is great having a knowledgeable teacher to give you directions and tips about that subject matter, and it’s even better when you put in the effort to make the most out of your class time.
Before attending the classes, get prepared by reading the readings, and download or print out lecture notes. Simply showing up is not enough you have to actively participate in the lessons. Interacting with teachers and classmates in class is always beneficial.
2. Plan ahead so that you can hand in all assignments on time
Course instructors will put up a list of all assignments at the beginning of the course. It is important for you to mark down all the deadlines in your calendars and make use of university planning tools. Plan beforehand so you give yourself enough time to finish them. Do not wait till the last minute to do or submit the assignments, because unexpected things or technology issues may come up. There are good study resources available if you need help.
Get to know the university’s deadlines policy. Some universities may have extension and special consideration policies for students who cannot hand in assessments due to special circumstances. Apply for it before the deadline if you have special circumstances such as illness.
3. Make new friends
Making new friends is very helpful for university students, and it’s easier than it seems. The value of studying in university not only relies on the knowledge itself, but also building up social networks and social capital. You are likely to meet well-educated and like-minded classmates at university. Make use of this opportunity to make connections and develop your professional and personal network.
As an international student, you may know no one in Australia, which can make you feel lonely and anxious. It is beneficial to make some friends at university, so you can share information and offer emotional support to each other. You can also explore Australia together, which makes university life in Australia much more enjoyable. A great starting point for making friends is attending orientation and events hosted by the Griffith Mates team.
Remember, there are no silly questions. In Australia, lecturers are very welcoming and always encourage students to ask questions. By asking questions, you can clarify the doubts in your mind, and gain new knowledge. Other students may have the same questions in mind as well. So by raising questions, students can all learn and benefit from it.
Apart from knowledge-related questions, do reach out and seek help if you encounter any issues related or non-related to your study. It may be your first time studying abroad and it is normal that you are not very familiar with Australia. If you need any help or encounter any issues, seek help from your teachers, friends or professionals. The Griffith University International Student Advisors are a great support service that can assist you with any issues you may face. It is easier to solve a problem at the beginning when it emerges than waiting for it to become a more difficult problem.
5. Budget properly and get freebies
Studying and living overseas can be costly. Therefore, it is important to have proper budgeting. It is good to have some savings before coming to Australia so that you can sustain your livelihood here. It is also beneficial to find casual jobs while you are studying in Australia, which may be able to cover some of your living costs. The Griffith University Careers and Employment team are a great resource to help you secure a job, and there are job boards around the university.
Look for university activities that offer freebies. Activities like Orientation Week, give-aways, and recreational activities may offer some freebies. Take advantage of it to get some free stuff, which can lower your expenditure. Another tip to save money is to cook more often instead of just dining out. Dining out in Australia can add up, but you can save more money by cooking or looking for specials ahead of time. Now is the time to learn to cook and have an independent life!
Although studying overseas can be daunting, as long as you believe in yourself and have proper planning, you will enjoy this life changing experience.
All the best,