Tips for new students
Showing up is 80% of success
It really helps to attend your classes, tutorials, workshops and labs. Not only are you likely to learn something, and maybe get marks for participation, you will meet other people with whom you can talk to about assessments, homework, and due dates. You may also find a group to study with or make new friends, all of which can help make your daily uni life much easier.
Canvas is really important
Canvas contains subject information, and most importantly, it includes information about what you need to do to pass the course and when you will need to submit each assessment item.
Make sure you have set up your multi-factor authentication (MFA) at login.uts.edu.au, and then you'll have access to all your UTS learning systems including Canvas with secure single sign-on.
Now that you are at uni, you probably have lots of things to balance – uni classes, assessments, part-time work, and a social life. Organising rooms and the right classes on your timetable can be confusing. Unlike school where your teachers often worked together to coordinate assessments and remind you, at uni you will need to organise all of this yourself. It helps to have an electronic calendar system with alerts and alarms on your phone, mobile device or computer, including one that wakes you up so that you get to class on time.
Gaps in background knowledge
Some subjects assume that you are familiar with certain topics. Unfortunately, you might have learnt these topics at high school, but these concepts evaporated the minute you put down your pen in your final school exam. Or you might be studying something you have never studied before. Fortunately, help is at hand. There is extra support – UPass – and drop-in centres for help with maths and academic writing – and more. You may need to put in some extra effort outside of class, but it can be done, and you can catch up.
Sometimes you might be afraid to ask questions, but very often, lots of your classmates will want to know the answer as well. Ask in class, or post the question on a discussion forum in Canvas. What really annoys tutors? A line up of students waiting to ask a question after class – and everyone has the same question!
It may take longer than they say
When you are learning something for the first time, it can be difficult. It is likely to take longer than the time your tutors and lecturers tell you. Sometimes they forget what it was like when they were a newbie. So be warned, and allow plenty of time for your homework and assessments, until you get to know how long it usually takes for each subject, and how best to spend your study time.
When things go wrong
Things go wrong, and sometimes a number of things go wrong at the same time. Maybe none of these are catastrophic on their own, but it may seem overwhelming if too many things happen, especially when they happen around the time you have an assessment. In these circumstances, you may be eligible for special consideration.
Academic advisers in your faculty can assist students with disabilities, and students who have difficulties due to family commitments.
This course is not what I expected
Occasionally students find that the course is not what they expected and want to change. There are rules about this, and important dates, so you should first speak to your Student Centre or consult the course withdrawal site.
This is costing you real money
If you are a domestic student and have deferred payment of your course until you are earning enough money – you are still incurring a debt. Find out more on the Australian Government HECS-HELP site (opens external site).
Most importantly, you need to know that the census date is really important. If you withdraw from a subject before then, you don't have to pay HECS for that subject in that semester, but if you do it afterwards, you will have to.
On campus medical centre
Sometime in your course, you are likely to need medical treatment or counselling. There is a health centre on campus which is often the most convenient place to go to for medical issues. The health centre is also able to provide medical certificates if you need them. If you are an Australian student, you should also get your own Medicare card – separate from your parents’ card. If you don't have one already, fill out a form and return to Medicare (opens external site).
Everyone is unique and university is a place where you will have opportunities to meet lots of people from diverse backgrounds which may be quite different to yours. Just as you would like to be respected, we ask that you are respectful in your interactions with everyone on campus. If something happens where you feel you have been treated disrespectfully, you can speak to people about it. Find out where you can get help at UTS.
Places you’ll go – people you’ll meet
Uni is a place where you can develop career connections, study abroad and make lifelong friends both in Australia and around the world. Take advantage of all the social and extra-curricular opportunities you can – and enjoy!