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Students settling in to life at Griffith College

The start of the year at Griffith College is a hive of activity on and off-campus as our new students settle into their courses and get accustomed to student life.

We extend a warm welcome to all our new and continuing students at our Mt Gravatt and Gold Coast campuses whether they are coming to us straight from school, returning to study after a break, or working towards a career change.

female Griffith College student smiling at camera while using laptop with a group of friends

For many students, this may have involved a move from interstate, overseas or from a regional centre.

Design student Kyen Bolton has made the move to Griffith College’s Gold Coast campus from his hometown of Cairns to pursue his dream career as an architect and is quickly finding his feet.

“I thought moving down here would be daunting and my social life would be isolated for a bit,” he said. “But from the second I got here I haven’t stopped meeting new people and making new friends!”

Ka Kwan (Woody) Li, from Hong Kong who is studying the Diploma of Hotel Management said during orientation he was able to find some other students who also came from Hong Kong.

“I felt comfortable that I was able to still speak my own language here while improving my English,” he said. “That is the good thing about Australia – it is very multicultural and I was able to make friends quickly. When I had any questions in class I was able to discuss this with my friendly classmates which helped me settle into the college faster.”

Diploma of Engineering student Ali Zar Abbas from Pakistan found the move challenging at first but was excited with the friendly and supportive welcome he received when he first arrived and also at orientation day.

“Orientation was just amazing – the mentors, my fellow students and everyone were just amazing in their conversation and were so full of energy and joy,” he said. “For a second I literally forgot about home.

“A lot depends on how welcome you are to change and how quickly you can adapt to the new environment. I believe students should get out of their comfort zone because there is a lot in the world to experience.”

Tips for success

Diploma of Criminology & Criminal Justice program convenor Dr Myesa Mahoney said that settling in to college life can be a big change and that most students have a number of commitments – not just as a student.

“In order to best settle in, I tell my students to firstly plan to attend each and every class. Your best chance to succeed is to show up, participate, and get to know your teachers and fellow students,” Dr Mahoney said.

“Staying on track with your attendance makes a huge difference. I tell my students to look at attending university like you would a job.

“Another key area is to plan your time accordingly and keep a proper calendar. Ensure you allocate enough time to meet all your commitments including study, work and your social life. Really be honest with yourself about what you can really manage with the time you have.

“I would also like to tell students that starting at university or college is an opportunity to redefine who you are. If you feel like previously you may not have been the best student, this is a brand new chance to change your life and to be the person you want to be.”

Who are the key people to help you?

There are many ways that Griffith College assists students to have the best possible chance of success in their studies, whether it’s in providing learning or welfare support or just in helping them feel a sense of belonging and community.

Student Learning Advisor Lyn Tracey said that it can be challenging to make a start at college life.

“There’s so much to learn at the start of the year, from where to find classrooms and information, to making friends,” she said. “That’s why providing support to students is a top priority at Griffith College.”

Lyn said that it’s important to recognise that there are a range of people that can help students from college staff through to a student’s peers.

There are two learning support advisors and one student counsellor located at both the Brisbane and Gold Coast campuses.

Lyn Tracey highlights the following key people to help students achieve academic success:

Lecturers: Are your go-to people for each course. Get to know your lecturers, ask questions, and attend consultations if you need extra help or clarification

Advisors:  Each campus has two Student Learning Advisors for academic advice and one Student Counsellor for personal advice

Program Convenor: See your Program Convenor (PC) for program related advice

PALs: PALs are high achieving students who can explain concepts and provide guidance

Classmates: It’s recommended to form peer study groups to discuss course content and share knowledge.

For further information please visit the Griffith College student services web page.

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