The Australian Government requires all institutions with overseas students to build support systems that aim to make the transition easier. Below are some of our recommendations for support services available for international students:
Pre-departure and arrival supportMany institutions provide their international students with a beginner’s guide prior to their arrival. This guide contains essential information such as requirements before leaving their country and what to expect in their new home, as well as information about the university, local tourist destinations and life in Australia.
The starter’s manual also includes advice on travel arrangements, accommodation options, healthcare coverage, payment methods for tuitions fees, budgeting expenses, visa requirements and other things about living and studying in the land “Down Under”.
Orientation programsThe first week of the semester is obviously the most difficult time for many foreign students, especially the new ones. Typically, universities ask overseas students to be in school a couple of weeks earlier than the rest of the students so you are well oriented before classes actually begin.
Orientation programs allow students to settle in and get accustomed to their environment as well as meet their peers. Activities may include information sessions, guided campus tours, introduction to services and facilities, and opportunities to meet staff and student council members.
Counselling servicesOf course, international students need support all throughout their study abroad. This is why universities have experienced counsellors always on standby to offer free and confidential advice to foreign students. Whether it is a personal matter you are dealing with or problems with your institution or academics, your university can help you.
Your international student adviser could also be your first point of contact should a problem arise. They are not only experienced and skilled with practical issues but can also advise on the emotional side of things such as culture shock, depression, stress and anxiety. If you ever feel like you need crisis or mental health support, you can always call Lifeline on 13 11 44.
Support from other students
Student groups play a big role in assisting international students in settling into their new way of life on and off the campus, helping to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. They run social gatherings and organise activities, including sports tournaments, outreach drives, tours and sightseeing. These may help overseas students feel more integrated into the community at large.
Just like a flourishing community, the Australian education system is here to provide you with a world-class education while also supporting you as an individual so you can reach your full potential.
If you need any more help with studying in Australia, contact one of our student support services offices.