How to succeed in your first year of uni


The time has come for you to officially transition from being a high-school senior to a first year uni student. Here are some of our hot tips to help you breeze through your first year.

1. Be prepared

Preparation is key to feeling confident about starting your new uni life. Get organised a couple of days prior to O-Week with your bag, note taking devices (charged laptop or iPad, or a good old notepad), go card (if you are taking public transport), water bottle, plenty of snacks and your class schedule.

2. Get up to speed on all the important details

Make your transition to UQ as smooth as possible by attending one of our Getting Started sessions either when you arrive or during O-Week. These sessions are compulsory for international students – and invaluable! You’ll find out how to enrol, register for classes and get your student ID. You’ll also hear about the services and facilities on campus and how to register for public transport student discounts.

3. Experience O-Week in all its glory

O-Week is held one week before semester starts (17-21 Feb) and is a great intro to life at UQ. You can check out UQ’s 220 clubs and societies, listen to live music, take part in events and activities, get heaps of free stuff, and most importantly – attend your program’s welcome session. You’ll make friends and feel at home on campus before your classes even begin!

Market Day during O-Week
Market Day during O-Week

4. Practice being on time

Take us up on this tip! Arrive at your lectures and tutorials at least 10 minutes before they are due to start. There's nothing worse than turning up late to a lecture and interrupting the class while you try to find a seat. Some lectures are big at UQ, with up to 500 students, so plan your travel so you can get there early. Who knows, you might even make a new friend while you wait to go inside.

5. Explore your campus

University campuses are thriving hubs filled with people and events (and classes!), but they can be overwhelming at first to navigate. At The University of Queensland, you can download the UQnav app to help you get around. It's an online map that will save you heaps of time and help you familiarise yourself. Please note: even if you do get lost, don't worry – there will be many others just like you and plenty of people who can help. 

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It can feel slightly intimidating with all these new people and new places but remember, we have all been there before. UQ is an incredibly welcoming and friendly university, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. We also have loads of international student support services, including the Student Centre, where you can get help with all your administrative queries, and Student Services, where you’ll find help with study and general wellbeing. We also have advisers specifically for international students, to help you overcome some of the challenges of studying in a foreign country. 

7. Take advantage of your free time

Usually there are breaks in your class timetable during your first week as tutorials do not start until week two. You can use this time to explore the campus and get familiar with some of your university's great facilities. The UQ St Lucia campus includes: eight libraries, sleeping pods, UQ Union eateries, UQ lakes, coffee shops, and UQ Sport facilities like the pool and gym – just to name a few.

8. Get involved

A very exciting chapter of your life is about to start so we highly recommend putting yourself out there and making the most of it. Take the opportunity to talk to others – you don’t know who might end up as your new BFF. There are over 220 student clubs and societies at UQ, catering to every interest (which you will find out on Market Day during O-Week). We encourage you to learn as much as you can, have fun and enjoy these steps towards your future success.

9. Don't forget transport!

If you plan on taking public transport, make sure you familiarise yourself with your route and allow plenty of travel time. Make sure your go card is topped up too! As convenient as the routes are into campus, unexpected transport delays do happen. It's best to be early rather than running into class in a hot mess.

If you're going to drive to campus, make sure you have a parking plan in mind. There are heaps of paid parking options at the St Lucia campus – check out Parking at UQ for further details.


 Questions? We have answers.

Our team can answer any queries you might have about your QTAC application or program entry to UQ. You can send us an email or call us on +61 7 3346 7826.

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