A Student Guide to the O-Week at Melbourne Universities

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Hadeel Hossam

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18 February, 2020

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5 mins read

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University Life

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New beginnings give us this great feeling of excitement mixed with anticipation and butterflies in our stomachs. As an international student in Melbourne, this must be exactly how you’re feeling now standing on the doorsteps of the new academic year. Studying in Australia could be one of the best experiences of your life, especially in its garden city, Melbourne. However, it’s an entirely new territory for you, and you must have dozens of questions about what your university life will be like. The answers are all in your university’s student orientation, or as the Aussies call it, O-Week. O-Week is one of the first and most important steps in your journey of studying in Melbourne. It helps you familiarise with the university’s identity, programs, and campus. However, it doesn’t only provide you with valuable information for your academics; it also helps kickstart your university social life through engaging activities and events that will help you meet like-minded students. Here’s the ultimate student guide on O-Week at these Melbourne universities.

1. Victoria University

When it comes to Victoria University’s O-Week, as an international student, you’ll have to attend a compulsory orientation session before you start your course. University staff, students, and community organisations will give you information about life in the city and how to start strong at the university. You’ll know more about healthcare and your student visa facilities and services on campus. These sessions are held on Tuesday the 18th of February at Footscray Park Campus and Wednesday the 4th of March at City Flinders Campus. For more information, visit the official website.

There are also additional sessions called “The Very Useful Information Sessions” that are free and optional where you can find out how and where to look for a job as well as the conditions as an employed international student. You’ll discover more about the country’s culture, tips on how to get around the city safely, and how to ensure to get the best out of your university experience in Melbourne at Victoria University.

Now for the fun part! There’s a free Big Beach Day Out for international students on the 29th of February where you can meet new people and enjoy a free lunch and various beach games and activities. All you have to do is register here and get ready for some summer fun!

Don’t miss out on your campus’s Summer O-Fest activities where you can play games, enjoy campus tours, win prizes, and attend different performances. They will be held from 10 AM to 2 PM on the 18th of February at Footscray Park Campus, from 11 AM to 1 PM on the 19th of February at Footscray Nicholson Campus, and 11 AM to 2 PM on the 20th of February at St Albans Campus.

More surprises are waiting for you in the Summer O-Fest Block Party where there are photo booths, free refreshments and food trucks, games and contests, and live music. It’s a great way to shake the nerves from being new in the city and familiarise yourself with the general atmosphere.

2. RMIT University

O-Week at RMIT University aims to help you know more about the university and your chosen program. There are three steps that you need to follow to get the most out of orientation:

1- Go to your chosen program’s orientation session, which details you should receive on your RMIT e-mail. In it, you’ll know more about what to expect from the program and meet your professors and classmates.

2- Make sure to attend the 90-minute How2RMIT Session which will give you the tools to get started whether it’s ordering your student ID, delving into the student community, paying your fees, getting to know the on-campus services and facilities, or setting up your class schedule.

  • If you’re an international student aged under 18, there are specially tailored How2RMIT sessions for you where you get all the same information along with your rights, responsibilities and support services. Just register here to pick a date.

How2RMIT sessions run on weekdays from the 23rd of January to the 31st of March across City, Brunswick and Bundoora campuses. Find out more at the official website.

3- The last but not least step is to have some fun by attending the RMIT Welcome Day! Free food, live music, workshops, giveaways, performances, and more are all waiting for you in these events. Here are their details:

  • City Vocational Education Welcome Day - the 11th of February held outside building 66, corner of Earl St and Orr St, Carlton.
  • City Welcome Day - the 25th of February held in Melbourne City campus on Bowen Street.
  • Bundoora Welcome Day - the 26th of February held in Bundoora West campus.
  • Brunswick Welcome Day - the 27th of February held in Brunswick campus located on 25 Dawson Street.

If you’re looking to engage in student activities, the university has a variety of clubs to join including creative clubs, sports clubs, social and political clubs, cultural and spiritual clubs, and academic clubs.

You can also sign up for the Mates program to get a student mentor who can show you around, give you tips on how to have a great first year at RMIT University, and introduce you to new people. The university also helps you to get to know the city you’ll call home for the next four years by organising a Morning Tour where you visit the city’s popular attractions.

3. Deakin University

Student Orientation at the University

O-Week at Deakin University is an excellent opportunity to start your academic and social journey at the university. You’ll learn about your course, meet your teachers and classmates, and engage in some fun activities and events.

As an international student, before O-Week, there is a special International Student Welcome held the week before O-Week that is very important for you to attend. You’ll need to bring original transcripts of all previous studies, your passport and visa, and your Letter of Offer. You’ll have other students tell you about their university experience. Make sure to get the things on the International Student Checklist done before the beginning of O-Week. 

Expect plenty of workshops and activities in your O-Week as well as enrolment sessions that will ensure you chose the right course and subjects. You’ll get to engage in activities like study skill workshops, course information sessions, campus tours, faculty introductions and much more. 

4. Swinburne University

Here’s what to expect from Swinburne University’s O-Week, which will be from the 24th of February to the 28th. There are orientation sessions for your department where you’ll meet your teachers and classmates, get to know more about your chosen course, and tour the campus and library. Other sessions are just for international students that will help you with enrolment, housing, and special sessions for English-language (ELICOS). Find out more on the official website.

O-Week at Swinburne will show you what the university has to offer while meeting new people, getting to know clubs and societies and enjoying some live music and free food. The first day is all about getting to know the services and programs that will prepare you to get a job and polish your resume. On the second day, you’ll go through your student checklist (refer to the international student orientation guide 2020 on the website) and participate in Speed Friending to meet new people. Thursday is the day for adventure with carnival games and spaces to relax with friends along with some useful demonstrations. Friday is when you’ll get to know about Australian culture with a tour around the campus and the beautiful Melbourne.

Campus tours leave at 10 AM, 11:30 AM, 1 PM, and 2:30 PM after students meet at the corner of John Street and Mcleod Lane. Make sure to choose the perfect club for you after watching the Club Showcase held daily during O-Week at 11:30 AM.

Subscribe to the International Students Newsletter to get the latest updates and events schedules. To make the most of O-Week, click here to plan it more thoroughly and get more details on your program’s orientation.

By the end of O-Week at your university, you’ll have a ton of new information and will have met many new people who will make you more confident about starting the new academic year. That’s why it’s important to attend and make the most out of what your university has to offer to start the new academic year with a bang!


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