As an international student, you’re embarking on the journey of a lifetime – one that extends beyond the classroom. You’ll have the opportunity to broaden your cultural horizons, create lasting connections and grow as an individual.
At Curtin, we understand that your success is not limited to your academic career. That’s why we’re here to help you thrive in all aspects of university life. To support you in doing exactly that, we’ve put together some of our top tips for achieving academic, professional and personal success at university.
Understand the Australian education system
Before diving into your first assignment, it’s crucial to familiarise yourself with the way academia works in Australia. The grading system, course structure and academic expectations may differ from what you’re used to in your home country. Ask local students and lecturers questions, and do your research so you can set realistic aims while you are studying.
Australia uses a grading system that typically ranges from High Distinction (HD) to Fail (F), with various grades in between; other courses may operate on a Pass/Fail model. It’s essential to understand what each grade represents and how your performance will be evaluated. Become familiar with your course structure, including lectures, tutorials and assessments, as this will vary from program to program.
Success begins with clear goals. You may want to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goals for your time at Curtin.
Your goals could be related to academic achievements, personal growth or future career plans. For example, let’s say you need to write a 1,500-word essay for one of your courses that is due in a month.
A SMART goal you could set in this circumstance is: I will write 500 words per week over the next three weeks days to complete the first draft of my essay. This will then leave me a full week to proofread and edit my essay before submission.
Because you’ve noted the number of words you need to write, it’s both specific and measurable. Given that 500 words equate to roughly two to three paragraphs, it meets the attainability criterion, and it’s relevant because it relates to your degree and academic success. Finally, it’s time-bound because you have specified the timeline on which you need to achieve the goal.
No matter your objective, having a clear vision will provide you with motivation and direction throughout your university journey.
Take advantage of the services around you
Curtin provides a range of services to support your academic and personal growth. Whether you need academic advice, career guidance or emotional support, we have resources in place to help you succeed.
Visit the Student experiences and support section of our website to discover the help available to you, including counselling, academic workshops and disability services. We also recommend exploring our learning support services.
Stay on top of coursework
University life can be demanding, with multiple assignments, readings and exams to juggle. Additionally, unlike secondary school, you’ll be expected to study more independently at the university level. As a result, staying organised and keeping up with your coursework is essential for success.
Create a study schedule that allows you to manage your workload effectively.
If you ever find yourself struggling to manage your coursework, you can also consider reaching out to your teachers, academic advisors or even your peers for some assistance. Whether it’s creating a study group with your coursemates or attending your lecturer’s office hours, you’ll have diverse sources of support available to you.
Enjoy your downtime
While getting good grades is important, it’s equally vital to take time for yourself. Socialising with friends, pursuing hobbies and exploring the vibrant city of Perth (Boorloo) can contribute to your overall wellbeing.
Prioritising both your academic commitments and downtime can help you achieve a healthy work-life balance and avoid burnout.
Both the university and the Curtin Student Guild have a wide range of sport and social clubs covering a variety of interests. Sign up for a club, or discover a new hobby you never knew you were interested in.
Your time at university is an opportunity for personal development, academic achievement and lifelong memories. Your success at Curtin isn’t just measured by grades, but by the growth you experience during your time living and studying in Perth.
Explore the diverse opportunities Curtin has to offer and make the most of your university experience. To learn more about services and resources specifically for international students, visit the International student support section of our website.