Orientation Week for International Students

International Students

Welcome to International student orientation. We understand that starting at university in another country can be both exciting and challenging at the same time. The International Orientation Program will help you in your transition to Southern Cross University and to a brand new chapter of your life.

Download the Term 1 2023 International Orientation Program.

Our friendly staff and student ambassadors will guide you through the whole process and be there to support you every step along the way. Your Orientation is online and delivered through the FYI Module.

Login to FYI here

International Students are advised to prepare to join Orientation activities held all week which will ensure you are attending your International essential sessions alongside Support Staff, the Course Information Sessions with your Academic Faculty and the social connecting and wellbeing activities! 

We can’t wait to meet you and help with your study journey!

Steps to prepare for Orientation week

  1. Work your way through all of the essential steps in the FYI Module that’s designed to give you all the essential information you need to get started on your journey at SCU.
  2. Prepare an electronic copy of your passport and photo to use as identification and registration for your Student Identification card.
  3. Continue to check the SCU Covid updates for Students and the Department of Home Affairs information for Australia.
  4. Missed your Orientation or feeling lost? Contact the International Student Support team:
    Email: ioadviser-gc@scu.edu.au or Phone +61 26620 3876  / Afterhours: 1300 782 676 or text 0477 751 363

See more at your International student support website.

Transitioning to Study at SCU for International Students (5:22) 

Some of the challenges that I faced when coming to Australia for my studies was finding a suitable accommodation and also getting used to the online academic environment at the university here.

Because it’s the first week of the university when the orientation starts, it’s pretty hectic. You get a lot of information thrown at you. You’d be sitting in classrooms hearing
from different services at the university. So, at that point of time when you have to find accommodation it can get a little bit tricky. And finding the right one can be even more tricky.

Because I come from China, and the east culture is very different from the west culture in Australia.

As a student international student I had a cultural shock, especially English language, from the second English speaking country.

I’m from Canada and the education system is fairly similar but the expectations were a little bit different for me here. So adjusting to that I sort of fell behind and I was probably about a month behind in studies. Um, and that really affected my stress level and I fell into sort of a downward spiral of not seeking help, and that actually was very detrimental to my stress and I could have made it a lot easier if I had asked questions and sought out the people who could help me in adjusting.

I had a lot of appointment with the accommodation officer during the O-week (orientation week), and she personally helped me look up on UniStays (university accommodation website) and found accommodation options that are suitable to my liking and to my interests that I had logged down. She actually drove me to a couple of places to have a look, let me have a look at these places, and she actually contacted a few landlords on my behalf and she talked to them. And then she um, assisted me in getting to have a look at the house, and then, helping me make the right choice.

I can understand it’s a different culture between China and Australia, and in Australia it’s no barriers between teacher and the students.

So, we can ask question, don’t think about this question is too silly or something like that, just ask question if you don’t understand the issues.

Academic Skills Development (Learning Zone) is the resource that I found helpful in term of improving the learning skills that I lacked, especially referencing skills and writing skills relevant to my course. So, it’s been really wonderful experience.

And having access to that help; and librarians were there, my student colleagues’ were there, UniMentors were there, lecturer was always there, always approachable at any time and all been there for me so I felt really been part of his community, great experience.

For me personally dealing with the stress, I started seeing a counsellor, and utilising the counselling services at the Uni, and that was really beneficial for me because it made me, sort of got me to, take an outsides perspective on what was stressing me out about academics, what was stressing me out about my personal life and it sort of got me back on track.

The counselling service also provided me with the opportunity to realise that we can have special consideration if you have certain circumstances that affect your studies and are prohibiting from actually studying on track.

Well I would like to say make the most of this opportunity because not a lot of people have this opportunity to study internationally.

And, especially here at Southern Cross University, there is a lot of student support, be it academic, be it with your Uni life. I had a few bumps in the beginning getting used to the academic system here and getting used to the academic expectations at the university in terms of assignments and exams that didn’t quite exact back home.

I would recommend new international students give themselves more time to learn about the local culture and to learn about the different education system. And, also eat healthy and have some sport to keep body healthy. And, set out the academic goals and when you achieve your academic goals you can get more confident.

University has got a variety, range of services available, student hub is here as a contact point. Academic skills there, library there, fellow students are here, Coastrs (student association). It’s full of resources available to help your experience in Australia, especially Southern Cross University. A very wonderful experience and memory.

Firstly, welcome. Welcome here, you made it. I think just take advantage of the international officer, they’re second to none in there services, they’re here to help you and they’re the first point of contact you have when you first arrive here. Find a balance, don’t just focus on academic, don’t just party, like an animal, but find the balance between the two and enjoy your time, you only live once.

Study abroad at our Lismore campus (3:23) 

I come from Canada, so it’s pretty cold up there. I really enjoy how warm it is (here).

Having the warmer weather allows me to head to the beaches more often, be outside more often and be at the pool.  When one of the advisors Michelle, came to my university to talk about coming to Australia, I had wanted to come but when she mentioned that there was a Koala Centre on campus, I got very excited, and I looked it up that night and I decided I was coming right then.

And we rehabilitate them and them put them out in the wild when they are ready to leave.
In the study break we did the big Fraser Island trip and that was one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

The island itself is literally untouched. You have to drive around in the 4x. Probably the best part was seeing all of the wildlife.

We saw wild dingoes, on the lookout we saw whales with their babies, we saw dolphins and sea turtles. It was amazing to see all the wildlife that Australia has to offer.

There is a lot of local beaches within like in a 20 to 30 minute drive of Lismore. I have been to Byron Bay and Ballina.

Byron Bay is honestly really nice and reminds me a lot of home going there and having the little beach town.

Studying here is a little bit different. You come to class once a week for that specific class which gives you more time on your own to study.

I really love that because I’ve really got the opportunity to see Sydney and I am going to be going to Cairns soon, so with that independent type of studying you can really take the time to explore and see whatever you like in the country.

I like that the professors or lecturers as you call them here. They are really friendly and they are a little bit more open to answering more questions.

This is the furthest I have travelled away from home. Some of the friendships I have made here have been awesome. I wouldn’t have thought I would know people from Spain or France.

I can honestly say that I have met some many people from so many different places here, not just Australia. Friendships which I will definitely have for a lifetime.

That group supports each other because we are all in this together because we all come from so far away.

Studying overseas has given me a new outlook not only on my own culture but that other people have different cultures so I’ve got to learn about a whole country and their histories.

This is the first time I have gone away and lived somewhere and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wanted to explore the world and do different things.

Definitely I would recommend it. I would definitely recommend it and wish I could do it again.