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New to Curtin

2015 marks the start of a journey. Share your journey with other students who are new to Curtin.

Looking for some advice on how to succeed at Uni?

Your success and happiness at university is very important to us. Here are ten quick tips to help you transition to life at Curtin.

1. Know why you are at University and what motivates you to be here

Successful students have a satisfying answer to this question. Either:

  • You have a clear career goal
  • You are intrinsically interested in the course
  • You are both of these (preferred option!)
  • Or some other good reason that works for you

If you’re not really sure why you are here, use our sources of help as soon as possible.

Visit the Careers and Employment website

2. A stable place to live and study

It’s important to have accommodation that is:

  • Safe and affordable
  • Appropriate for study – e.g. housemates and/or family members support your study needs and you have a desk in a quiet location
  • A reasonable commute – too much travel time can be a disincentive to attend Uni
  • Facilities for study – e.g. desk, computer, stuff that you need for your course.

If you need help in finding accommodation visit Housing services at Curtin.

3. Financial stability

Successful students have:

  • A clear understanding of what their financial commitments are whilst studying: this includes living and studying expenses plus an awareness of the various Uni fees etc.
  • A suitable income where their jobs do not impact on class and study commitments
  • Knowledge of where to seek help if money problems emerge (rather than just trying to work a heap of extra hours in a part-time job!).

If you need help you can contact a Student Wellbeing Advisor or Guild Student Assist or Counselling Services.

4. Attend all classes and stay up to date

For on-campus students there is a very positive relationship between attending classes and your end of semester results. The more you attend, the better your grades. For online students, this relates to watching the lectures and doing the readings weekly.

Students who stay up to date with their work generally succeed. Falling behind with assignments and course work can be a vicious circle as you will be always trying to catch up.

So it’s pretty simple:

  • Be prepared
  • Attend classes or stay up to date with unit modules if you are external
  • Do the required work!

If you need help planning your time or with any extensions or support, you can contact a Student Wellbeing Advisor or Guild Student Assist or Counselling Services.

5. Get to know people - spend some time with them

Students who form positive relationships with other students:

  • Feel much more comfortable about studying at Curtin
  • Have a support network, and
  • Have a great time

They could be other students in your course, (online or face to face) faculty clubs, Guild clubs, Curtin Volunteers!, recreational activities, or just people you meet in the Café. It doesn’t matter who – just so long as you know somebody.

Swap contact details (e.g. email, Facebook) with at least a few students within the first couple of weeks.

Use your mentor for help and advice: arrange a meeting, email him/her and stay in touch. It is also extremely useful to connect with your teachers: speak to them, seek their advice and make sure they know who you are.

Visit the START Mentor Program or Sports and Recreation websites, or check out the Guild Clubs.

6. Develop the right study skills and use the study supports available to you

There are plenty of study-related skills to develop including using the Library, writing assignments, referencing and getting the most out of the technology available. The University doesn’t expect you will automatically know how to do it all on day one – it will take time.

  • Lecturers and Tutors are your first point of call for study advice
  • Library staff are very helpful and provide information on referencing etc.
  • The Learning Centre provides short courses to improve your academic skills, including online courses, and drop-ins (both face to face and over the phone)
  • All students can also check out the resources at Curtin Business School’s Communications Skills Centre.
  • There are other ideas for support on the CurtinLife pages for Learning support, including UniPASS peer facilitated study support for on campus students.

7. Know how the administrative system works

Your study can be disrupted by misunderstanding the way the system works. This means making sense of administration issues such as:

  • Enrolling
  • Re-enrolling
  • Taking a break from Uni (Leave of Absence)
  • Paying fees

To be clear on all these things, check out the information at the Current students website.

If you are an international student, it is important to be aware of all the administrative issues associated with your student visa. To find out more about this, please visit the International Future Students website.

If you get confused or need some support, you can contact a Student Wellbeing Advisor or Guild Student Assist.

8. Deal with any issues as soon as they arise

Things can go wrong. You might get sick, crash your car, have relationship problems, or develop other difficulties in your personal life. The University can help, and there are ways the University can be flexible to accommodate a situation beyond your control.

The sooner you get some support, the better your chances of successfully dealing with any issue.

For support, you can contact a Student Wellbeing Advisor or Guild Student Assist or Counselling Services. We are always here to help.

9. Understand that at Curtin everyone is accepted

Every member of the Curtin community is valued and accepted. We want you to feel you belong here. Studying in a diverse population is a great opportunity to learn from each other.

Curtin’s Student Charter specifically notes that the University embraces and recognises diversity, and that we aim to provide an environment free from unlawful discrimination, bullying or harassment.

Diversity means we celebrate and see the advantages of a population that includes:

  • People from many countries, cultures and ethnicities
  • Different beliefs, religions and values
  • People with disabilities
  • Sexuality and gender diversity
  • Students and staff across many age groups

Find out more about Curtin’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion and Ethics, Equity and Social Justice. You can also look at Curtin’s Disability Access Plans and Reconciliation Action Plan.

Of course, in a large community such as Curtin, not everyone behaves perfectly at all times. If that is the case, Curtin will take action to sort it out as soon as possible. If you have concerns about being accepted or if you have experienced discrimination, bullying or harassment – you can:

10. Read your emails and make the most of the Curtin website

Curtin University has many online resources that will help students throughout their university life.

Student Essentials: Get all your enrolment, examination and graduation information as well as links to student resources and specific services via the Current Students website.

OASIS student portal – Login AT LEAST once a week to keep up-to-date with official communications from the University and your teaching staff, and to be informed of great events, opportunities and fun stuff, as well as helpful emails from your Mentor.

Please visit the links below for more information.

For more support and detailed information, you can log into OASIS and click on the StartUp tab.

Remember, if you don’t know where to go or who to ask, for questions big or small, start at the Student Wellbeing Advisory Service – our number is on the back of every student card!

Curtin A-Z Guide 2015 cover

Curtin A-Z guide

This guide has been designed to help you settle into Curtin, both academically and socially. It contains information on services and facilities, student responsibilities and where to go for advice or help. Information in this guide is relevant to all students.

Download the Curtin A-Z guide(pdf, 7.36 MB)