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Pre-departure

Pre-departure

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Pre-Departure

Pre-departure briefings are arranged by some
universities or are run by some agencies. Students generally are most
interested in the pre-arrival and on-arrival information they receive at these
briefings, so information should be focused on practical information relating
to:

Settling in;
Finding accommodation;

What to expect in a new country.

The following areas need to be considered in a
pre-departure briefing:

What students need to know before they leave
their home country

Students should be encouraged to use a checklist that has information
about:

Possible questions from student and their
families

Many parents attend pre-departure briefings with their
students. Parents often have questions about safety, security and supervision
of younger students.

Asking senior students to help with
pre-departure

Students who have completed a year or two of their
Australian studies (and who are home for vacation) can be useful in providing
first-hand information to students who are preparing to study in Australia for
the first time.

Preparing interactive online presentations and
resources

Online and interactive presentations are worth
considering if students are unable to attend briefings. Monash University, for
example has pre-departure information on their website.

What students need to know on arrival

Most
education providers send detailed on-arrival information to students before
they arrive. This may include:

The climate in the area they will be studying;
The local environment, community, campus;

What to pack;

Preparing for a homestay experience;

Preparing for independent living;

Telephone and internet access;

What the school, college, university can provide before arrival;

What to expect in the classroom;

Relationships;

Emotional preparation;

Safety and security;

Who the student should contact with problems or for information;

The documents that should be carried, read and understood;

Airport
reception and what to do if the pickup does not arrive.

How
to use public transport;

Currency,
banking, shopping;

How
to contact the school, college or university; Dates of enrolment, orientation, commencement.

Orientation

 Orientation programs are a regular part of the international student support process. Providers develop and deliver these in a   range of formats according to the number of students, and the time of intake into courses.

 Orientation programs for large universities are often published on the university’s website to inform students what is available to   them. Other providers send orientation information with the ECoE, and most will have this information available upon request.

 It is expected that all students attend orientation programs to:

Receive a formal welcome to the school,
college or university;

Receive vital information about the new study
environment;

Have course and enrolment information
explained;

Be informed about campus life and facilities
such as banking and public transport;

Have specialised staff available to discuss
accommodation options and issues;

Be informed about language and learning
support;

Be informed about visa compliance obligations;

Meet new friends, teachers and international
student advisers;

Become familiar with the library resources and
research facilities;

Understand what is expected of them as an
independent learner in Australia;

Have campus tours;

Enjoy a range of social activities.

Many new international students will be offered the opportunity to join a peer mentoring, or peer support program. These programs may be run by academic faculties or the international office and can include:

Social activities run by senior students for
newly arrived international students;

Activities to familiarise new students with
their local area, and accommodation options;

Campus tours;

Learning support groups; Emotional support.

Here is an example of the orientation
program at the University of Queensland.

Spouse And Partners Programs

  Many universities have developed programs and activities for the partners of students, particularly postgraduates. Partners and children of students often need    support, and they are often isolated if they are not working or connected to their local communities. These programs aim to provide informal networks for these    individuals.
  While pastoral care is part of the educational providers obligations and student support is of a very high standard, students should realise that they are also          responsible for finding out where support and information is available. It is expected that students will ask questions and seek information (and all services and     support offices encourage this).