Tips for high school students preparing for university

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Tips for high school students preparing for university

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Thursday 20 October 2016

For some students, starting university can be pretty daunting. Being placed in a new environment, with a new routine and more responsibility can be quite overwhelming. That's why most universities offer a range of opportunities to get more information and to become familiar with campuses, staff and facilities before kicking off the academic year. It's all aimed at getting your child prepared and ready to hit the ground running, so make the most of what USC can offer to help with the transition to uni.

Open Days

Open Days are a great starting point to learn about university study in general or find out about specific programs and entry pathways. They are also a great opportunity to become familiar with your local campus and facilities. You can talk to students and teachers, ask questions and get course advice and guidance.

You may have hit the Open Day circuit which happens around July / August each year. If you missed our Open Day or have some more questions, you can come along to one of our Meet USC days. Meet USC is a regular event for future students to tour the campus and find out about their study options. Taking the time to explore the campus and get a feel of what it’s like to be a uni student with your child will help ease the initial anxiety of transitioning to uni.

Study while at school

High school kids can get a taste of university while they are still in school. USC offer two programs, Headstart and Integrated Learning Pathway (ILP) that provide secondary school students with the opportunity to study university level courses. Not only does it ensure they are more familiar with university study when it’s time to start, they’ll also tick off a course or two from their degree in the process.

ILP provides secondary school students in Year 11 and 12 with an opportunity to experience university without having to travel to a university campus. Headstart is a transition program for Year 11 and 12 students, where they study on campus alongside other USC students. They’ll expand their knowledge and become familiar with uni life sooner rather than later, which is sure to make their transition that much easier when the time comes.

If your child is heading into year 11 or 12 next year, Headstart is a great opportunity to start the transition now. Applications for semester 1, 2017 Headstart Program close at the end of the month.

Applications for semester 1, 2017 Headstart Program close at the end of the month. Download the 2017 Headstart guide (PDF 562KB)*

*For PDF documents you must have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded from the Adobe Download page.

Ongoing support

Once they're underway, there are a number of ongoing support initiatives to ensure students are confident and competent throughout their time at university.

Study Skills workshops give students the opportunity to brush up on their academic skills before the semester starts. There’s also regular workshops held throughout semester to ensure they stay up to speed with their academic requirements.

The Student Mentor Program aims to enrich undergraduate student experiences by linking them with a more experienced student, a Student Mentor. Student Mentors are trained volunteers and are committed to helping new students settle into university life.

Counselling services are also available with a variety of initiatives and resources to support students and foster positive mental health.

A number of online resources are available to students where they can receive free, live, one-on-one academic advice to ensure they are always supported with academic guidance.

Support your child in study

As a parent, it’s important to support your child in study and to provide reassurance that it’s ok not to know what they want to be when they grow up. Universities are flexible enough that you can start a program and change direction, or do a double major or degree to keep your options open. Encourage your child to enrol in a course they are passionate about. It’s their future and there is no wrong choice when it comes to getting an education.

There are a variety of options available to ensure your child is prepared for university. With the combined support from their parents, new students are sure to have a smooth and successful transition to their next phase of student life.

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