Starting uni – 10 tips to get prepared

Starting uni is an exciting adventure. But you’ll probably be a little nervous, too. The good news is, when you’re part of our Charles Sturt University family, we’ll help you dial up the excitement and dial down the nerves. Here’s 10 tips to help you prepare and make going to uni stress-free!

1. Accept your offer

Accepting your offer to study with us is the first and most important step and it’s super easy. All you need to do is follow the acceptance link in your offer email.

2. Jump onto the student portal and get your student card

From the minute you enrol through to the day you graduate, the Charles Sturt student portal is your one-stop-information-shop. Get answers to common questions, hints to help you study smarter and find loads of helpful information.

One of the first things you can do when you visit the student portal is organise your student card. It’s your ID for exams and gets you into campus buildings. Use it to borrow from the library and photocopy, print and scan. Load your card up with cash to purchase goods in most of our campus food outlets.

3. Save the date for orientation

Don’t miss orientation. It’s usually held in late February or early March – a week before classes start. Whether you’re studying online or on campus, orientation is the best way to meet academics and classmates, learn about your campus or online study, ask those last-minute questions or check your enrolment. There’ll be plenty of our Charles Sturt team ready to chat with you!

4. Lock in your accommodation

Want to live where you study? We guarantee accommodation for first year students and returning second year students. There’s loads of different options for you to choose from, depending on your needs and budget. Accommodation offers are made on a weekly basis, so you’ll need to get in quick to lock-in your choice.

5. Enrol

If you surveyed 100 new students and asked what worried them the most about starting uni, we’re pretty sure the survey would say… “Knowing how to enrol in my subjects and sorting out how and when to pay my fees.”

Choosing what subjects to do, enrolling in them and managing your timetable is actually quick and simple. There’s two ways you can get help if you need it. Firstly, hop into the student portal – we have a Getting Started section that will step you through the process. Still unsure and want to talk it through with someone? Reach out to our Student Central team, they’re always ready and willing to help.

6. Get HELP with your fees

Don’t stress about sorting out the fees and costs associated with going to uni. Many students are eligible for a government loan – called HELP loans – to make paying subject fees and student fees easier. That means you can pay off uni fees over time, so you won’t have to pay anything upfront.

Wondering if you’re eligible for a HELP loan or need some guidance to navigate through what fees you have pay and by when? Ask a member of our Student Central team.

7. Bookmark our scholarship page

Here’s what you need to know about our scholarships. We have more than $3 million in scholarships up for grabs every year. There’s a range of different scholarships available and they’re not just for those at the top of the class. Applying is easy and you can go for as many as you like, in every year that you study with us. Applications close at different times of the year, ­so bookmark the scholarships page and keep checking to see what’s available.

8. Get the right equipment (and ask for a discount)

You’ll need a computer or mobile device and high speed internet access. For some courses and subjects, you might need specific hardware or software. Check your course or subject details page for information. While you’re studying with us, we provide some free software for you to download, install and use on your own computer/device.

And before you buy any equipment, always ask if you’re entitled to a student discount.

Oh, and don’t forget a diary or planner. Staying organised throughout your studies will make life a lot easier – so grab a diary (online or hard copy) and plot out important dates like assessments and exams.

9. Get in the zone

Make the most of your study time by creating your own space that’s super conducive to learning. How? Choose a bright area with good ventilation, get rid of any possible distractions (TVs or phones) and stock up on stationery. And remember our campuses have 24/7 secure, dedicated study spaces that all our students can use. So, if you need a change of study scenery, pop on in.  

10. Stay healthy and happy

To increase your chances of study success, get into a healthy and happy routine right from the start. Plan to eat and sleep properly, exercise regularly and make time for socialising. It’s also important to have a study/life balance and be ‘attitude ready’. Ready to learn, ready to contribute, ready to reach out for help and ready to put in the effort.

Ready to begin your Charles Sturt journey?

We’ve got even more tips for preparing for uni in our guide, Get Set for Success. Download your copy and make your return to study stress-free.