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Adjusting to UQ

Regardless of your age or life experience, starting university for the first time can seem a little intimidating. We're here to help.

Unfamiliar campuses, making new friends, different academic expectations – it can all feel a little overwhelming. It's important to remember that you're not alone in feeling this way. 

While there's a lot to get used to, most students embrace the challenge and come out stronger, smarter and more skilled at handling life's pressures. They also count their time at university as an amazing life experience.

Although it may take a little while for you to feel comfortable with your new student life, there are things you can do to help you adjust.

Preparing for study

Uni isn’t just about studying. It’s also about learning how to be independent and taking responsibility for yourself.

Before your first semester begins, it’s a good idea to take proactive steps to help maximise your success:

If you need help with your personal wellbeing at any time, make an appointment with one of our friendly Student Advisers.

Making new friends

Being in a new place and juggling new responsibilities can be tough if you feel like you’re all alone. Making new friends can help ease the process.

Here are some tips to help you build new friendships:

Unfamiliar surroundings, making new friends, different academic expectations – it can all get a little overwhelming. You’re not alone in feeling like this.

While it’s a lot to take in, most of our international students do it wonderfully – learning from the challenges they’re confronted with and graduating from UQ having had an amazing experience.

Although it may take a little while for you to feel comfortable with your new student life, there are things you can do to help you adjust.

Preparing for study

Before your first semester begins, it’s a good idea to take the time to familiarise yourself with your new surroundings and what’s expected in the semester ahead.

Before your first semester begins, it’s a good idea to take proactive steps to help maximise your success:

Dealing with culture shock

It's common to experience some degree of culture shock in your first few weeks and months in a new country.

You’ll notice differences between the way things are done and what you’re used to at home. This can be frustrating and disorienting.

Common signs that you may be experiencing culture shock include:

  • feeling anxiety and loneliness
  • missing family and friends
  • avoiding people
  • being unable to eat
  • feeling tired, angry or confused
  • being disorganised.

Tips to help you adjust

Remember, culture shock is a completely normal response to the big changes happening in your life. It’s important to allow yourself enough time to adjust.

If you need a little extra help, there are support resources and networks available. You can also try some self-help methods, such as:

If you need help at any time, our friendly International Student Advisers can provide guidance and support.