Step by step guide to University life

Monday, 22 February 2010

New students starting at the University of Adelaide next week will be guided through the first stages of University life with the help of a comprehensive, semester-long orientation program and a large group of specially trained student mentors.

The UniStep orientation program starts in Orientation Week (Monday 22 February - Friday 26 February) with traditional 'O Week' activities focusing on helping students find their way, providing opportunities to meet other students, attend preliminary lectures and participate in a range of social and other activities.

The next step is a "Reality Bites" series of panel sessions with experienced students providing a comprehensive introduction to academic life. UniStep continues throughout the first semester with academic and life skills seminars, events and activities.

A group of more than 140 specially training students will be adding their support to new students through a mentoring "peer networking program", providing an invaluable source of information, fostering friendship networks and encouraging a sense of belonging.

"Transition to university can be a daunting experience and many students underestimate the significant adjustments that need to be made," says Sally Hebenstreit, Director of the University's Student Support Services.

"Research has demonstrated that the first-year experience, especially the first weeks, can be pivotal in establishing the positive attitudes, approaches to learning and motivation that contribute to students' success.

"The University of Adelaide has recognised the importance of this early experience and is committed to developing innovative approaches to engage and support first-year students."

Ms Hebenstreit says many of the student mentors are students who themselves took part in peer mentoring programs as a new student.

"Peer mentoring programs take advantage of the often under-utilised resource of other students. Experienced students are provided with training to develop professional mentoring skills and, they themselves, find the experience very rewarding," she says.

Orientation Week starts on Monday 22 February with a welcome by the Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha and continues over the week with a range of tours, introduction sessions and other social and orientation activities. Further information can be found at


Contact Details

Ms Sally Hebenstreit
Director, Student Support Services
The University of Adelaide
Business: +8 8313 4059

Media Team
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 0814