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Transitition to Academic Life

Studying in Australia may be very different to what you are used to at home. Here are some tips to help you make a successful transition.

Learning methods

Studying in Australia may be very different to studying in your home country. Australian students are encouraged to be independent learners — this means that students are responsible for completing the readings, undertaking research and meeting deadlines themselves. Academic services will generally be available to help you adapt to:

  • fewer contact hours and more self-directed study
  • learning independently (or with minimal assistance)
  • getting less individual attention from teachers
  • the active and vocal style of tutorial discussions.
A casual approach

Australian students may seem to have a very casual and relaxed attitude toward their lecturers and tutors. Generally speaking, students are usually on a first-name basis with academics, and titles are not usually used. Australians believe they live in a country where everyone is on the same level — even students and academics — and should be treated equally. This does not mean that students don’t have respect for academics, it just means that it is a more casual relationship than you may see in other countries. Students are encouraged to challenge their tutors and lecturers, and tutorial discussion and input often forms part of your final mark.

The Australian accent (‘strine) Services offered by universities

If you are having trouble making the transition, there are plenty of ways you can seek help. Most education providers have an international student office, where counsellors can direct you toward learning skills help. Many institutions run classes and seminars on conversational English, essay writing, note-taking and exam preparation. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — it is normal to fee a little bewildered at first.


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