By Amanda Chan (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia).
I cannot believe that I have already been in Canberra for 2 weeks, these two weeks have been fun and enjoyable. Keep reading to find out what I did!
15/7-19/7 Orientation Week
The week before term officially starts is always orientation week, unlike Freshers Week back in Manchester, this is a bit more serious, more quiet and less fun. You will understand why in my next blog.
The first thing I had to do is to know and walk around where I live on campus. I got allocated into Ursula Hall, a catered residential hall located exactly opposite the building where I have most of my lectures.
Just like most residential hall in Manchester, the room has a bed, basin, mirror, desk, chair, shelves, cupboards and even a table lamp.
One special feature of Ursula is that each floor in each block will be allocated a theme (a movie or TV show) with a label of your basic information and a character in the theme stuck on the door. In this way, it is easier to know and find people around you. Take my floor as an example, we are Monster Inc. and I am Bile.
Next are the pretty boring but very important procedures, listening to welcoming speeches, getting your student ID, enrolling in courses, going on a campus tour and getting your OSHC card (all international students in Australia are required to get the Overseas Student Health Cover) Other than that, I do recommend all students going to ANU to join their SIGN mentoring programme (Student Information and Guidance Network). It is fun, free, with a lot of activities and you get a mentor!
There were also workshops and informative talks in which two of them were really interesting and caught my attention. One of them is mini-lectures held by students from the XSA, which is the Cross-Disciplinary Students Academy, designed to allow students to explore the curiosity and inquisitiveness of their minds and others. Three topics were discussed: democracy, existence of aliens and manipulation & influence. It was thought-provoking. Another session was called Unismart, with more information available here: http://www.unismart.biz/experience-unismart. The speaker first caught our attention by claiming the more you drink, the better your studies will be (which he then clarified was the exact opposite!!) and a strip dance (transforming from suit to casual wear). The one and a half hour was so enjoyable that it only felt like half an hour. Other than being fun, the speaker still made is points clear and I still remember what he said without note-taking.
- Make friends by simply being yourself – don’t just stay in your room
- Work hard, play hard – maintaining a good balance will get you the high marks
- Don’t drink too much and NEVER drink drive
- Seek help when you need one – don’t be shy
- If you go to a beach in Australia, swim between the red and yellow flags
These are just a few of the key points that I think would be useful to everyone.
I will keep you updated on what is happening the coming week. 🙂