10 Tips for a Successful First Year at an Australian University: A Checklist for International Students

Check out our checklist for international students to have a successful first year at an Australian University. Tips include joining clubs, getting to know your professors, and preparing a CV.

10 Tips for a Successful First Year at an Australian University: A Checklist for International Students
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Apr 25, 2023 08:53 AM
Moving to a different country for studies can be exciting and intimidating in equal parts. During your first year at an Australian University, as an international student, you will have to get acquainted with the surroundings and also have to carve a place for yourself in the academic merit lists.
You will miss home and feel homesick a lot of times. However, you will have to get over all these obstacles and chart your path. In this blog, we will give you some practical tips which can help you have a successful first year at an Australian University

10 Tips for a Successful First Year at an Australian University

1. Know Your Professors and Ask Questions

When you are in your Masters, try to acquire all the relevant skills and rare values from your professors as developing those skills will lead to better career opportunities and autonomy. Meet with the professors and tutors to clarify any doubts. You can also mail them with any queries. Australian professors are very friendly and approachable; So, you will get a reply for sure.

2. Join Clubs and Societies

In university, clubs and societies are the two best things that students should definitely be a part of. They are fun and provide opportunities to make friends and pick up new hobbies during your first year at an Australian university. Joining these clubs or societies results in what the corporate world knows as “effective networking”. You can even hone your leadership and team skills by holding a position of responsibility in a club or society.

3. Choose Your Internships Smartly

A good internship definitely adds value to your resume. Not only will it add experience to your resume but it will also broaden your scope and give you first-hand experience of how the after-college life is going to be. Grad Australia’s Website is a great place to find internships. You can even check with your university’s career service department and see if they can recommend any opportunities in your field of study.

4. Get Accustomed to the Australian Lifestyle

Australia is a good place to be when you are away from home. The people are friendly and accommodating. Learn about the culture and history of the country in general and about the region you are living in, in particular. It will help you connect more with the place and give you a sense of belonging. Australians have a good sense of humour and engaging in light-hearted conversations with the locals in your neighbourhood can make you feel at home.

5. Follow a Budget

Pursuing a Master’s in Australia is expensive, and then there comes the cost of living and managing other essentials. So, the right idea is to make a budget and follow it. Life after university forces one to rely on personal finance skills, thus check if any such courses are available in your university and you will be surprised that many such mini-courses or workshops do exist.
The Australian government also provides for an introduction to various fundamental skills on the Money Smart website. Having financial habits firmly in place does make a lot of difference when your career takes off and money begins to flow in your direction. Even if not that, at least it will help you sail through your first year at an Australian university when you are still adjusting and exploring.

6. Get Your Accommodation Sorted

It is advisable to take temporary accommodation when you arrive in Australia and then pick a place to stay depending on your needs. Most of the international students prefer shared accommodation as it will help them split the costs. Shared accommodations are also more comfortable than hostels. Websites like flatmates.com.au, gumtree.com.au and flatmatefinders.com can be very useful in finding a good place to live. Make sure to meet the owners in person before you sign any contract.

7. Introduce Yourself to People

Shaking off the shyness can be a bold move when you move into a foreign land. Break the ice and introduce yourself in lectures and tutorials and strike up a conversation. Not only on-campus but off-campus, interact with everyone, everywhere with teachers, students and even admins. Of course, do not go all crazy and be selective in who you interact with but it is important to have friends around.

8. Take Care of Yourself

When you travel to Australia from India, you will have a different timetable for everything; thus, it is vital to have a regular sleeping pattern. Have a healthy diet and an active lifestyle to stay fit. Make sure you give your best in both academics and extracurricular activities. It is essential to follow a routine and be disciplined.
Managing studies, off-campus life, friends and part-time work can be exhausting, and thus you should focus on staying healthy. Do exercise or join the gym and take out time for yourself too during your first year at an Australian university.

9. Prepare a CV

CV from the first year? Yes! When in your first year of your Masters, start preparing your CV. Preparing a CV is vital as that is the first impression you create on potential employers. It is a great way to take account of the skills that you possess and also for identifying gaps that you aim to address. Also, your CV will act like a plan for you, and hence you can spend the college life building upon it so that when the recruitment times come, you are able to shine bright!

10. Get to Know Your Transportation Options

In a country as extensive as Australia, public transport is the best option for you to commute. Australia has a well-connected public transport system, so make sure you make the best use of it. Get to know the local transport options in your city. You can get this information on the university website, through relevant apps or by asking your seniors and peers. It would be best to get your commute to the university sorted along with your accommodation.


The first year in a foreign land can be the most difficult phase to navigate. What can help you sail through this rough sea is setting your priorities and focusing on them. You can use the first year to build a strong foundation for the rest of your stay in the country. In short, maintaining the right balance of everything around you will help you pass through the first year at an Australian university without any hiccups. We hope these tips will help you breeze through and have a memorable time in Australia!