University Life

Get connected and look forward to feeling supported! In this section you'll discover why it's so important to connect with other people and what different opportunities exist at Southern Cross University.

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5 reasons to get involved

Starting anything new can be daunting, and starting a new course where you don't know anyone can feel scary. For some of you this will feel more intense, particularly if you've moved from another part of Australia or have joined us from overseas. If you're studying externally you may feel excited, nervous or even a little isolated.

The good news is that you are definitely not alone. Everyone else is also starting out, so reach out to your new course mates and discover how connecting with others is the key to you feeling confident, supported and excited about this next step.

1. Meet people and make new friends

Many people have doubts and insecurities when starting something new, but making the time and effort to meet other people and build relationships will allow these doubts and insecurities to become less of a focus. We're more able to accept the difficulties because we feel part of a bigger support network.

2. Stay mentally and physically fit

There are clear links between our physical and mental health so maintaining good habits for both is vital if we want to be at our best, in life and in the classroom. Southern Cross University has plenty of opportunities for fitness and exercise and provides a number of services dedicated to emotional and mental wellbeing. Make use of them.

3. Discover a new interest

Is there something that you've often thought you'd like to do but were too scared to try? Here is your opportunity! You might just discover a new talent, interest or opportunity (or at the very least discover something new about yourself and other people in the group).

4. Represent the university

At Southern Cross University we're always looking for people to represent us at local and national level in a whole range of activities. Maybe you've previously played in a highflying sports team or perhaps you're just keen to extend your skills and enjoy your hobby. We'd love you to join us.

5.Feel in control of your future

There's nothing worse than hitting a low and not knowing who to turn to. You might even believe that you shouldn't ask for help, that it's a sign of weakness. It isn't. At Southern Cross University we have so many services and staff whose only mission is to help you to feel positive and supported during your time with us. By connecting with them early you'll be prepared for any tricky times that might arise.

What is orientation?

Whether you’re an on-campus, online or international student, Orientation is an important event that starts your journey as a university student. In the week before teaching starts there are helpful sessions that provide you with essential tools to succeed in your degree, and some great social events to help get you get settled into your new university life.

How or where are you studying? Find out what's on offer and how you can get involved with orientation, wherever you are in the world.

Students lying back on beanbags at the Gold Coast Orientation

Orientation for online students

Orientation Website
The Orientation websiteis full of information for new students and is available for you to refer to all year round. It contains helpful information about preparing for your studies such as checklists, student tips, campus information and introductory technology videos. In the week before classes start, you should also visit the MySCU Orientation site.

MySCU Orientation site
For Orientation information specific to your course, there is a second site to explore - the MySCU Orientation site. This is where you will access an online Welcome and Course Information Session during Orientation Week. For those who can’t attend at the time of their session, it is recorded. The site opens the week before Orientation starts so you can familiarise yourself and test your set-up for the online session. Student Orientation Leaders are available in informal online sessions and at campus events during Orientation week so you can ask them questions and find out their top tips for student life at Southern Cross University. The MySCU Orientation site opens the week before Orientation starts so you can familiarise yourself and test your set-up for the online sessions during Orientation Week.

Connecting with the University Community - Online and On Campus
During your first weeks at uni, take some time to explore the many opportunities to participate in the vibrant and rich University community life. Online and on-campus information sessions are a chance to have some fun and meet other new students. The UniLife team offer university wide sport, health and wellbeing programs. Student Associations offer discounted services and fun social programs at each campus for a small membership fee. Joining a club or society is another way to make friends and learn a new skill. There are School – based, cultural, sport and recreational clubs and societies.

SCU Online postgraduate students

An Orientation specific for SCU Online postgraduate students is available within MySCU and covers topics such as:

  • Learning online
  • Being a successful online student
  • Navigating the online learning system
  • Discussion boards to meet other online students
  • All students studying with SCU Online also have the opportunity to come on campus and attend orientation events running at the different campuses. It's a great opportunity to discover what support Southern Cross University offers online students.

    If you require further information regarding the SCU Online orientation program, contact our Student Success Advisors by phone 1300 881 471 or email

    Two female international students at Orientation

    Orientation for International Students

    The International Student Orientation program is designed to assist you with settling into life in Australia and to prepare you for your studies. Southern Cross University provides a variety of interactive activities to familiarise you with study resources and academic requirements, the online learning environment and student portals, as well as important student support services and resources.

    Orientation is fun and offers opportunities for you to meet other students and people in the broader community. Orientation for International Students starts on a Monday, so check your emails and add the date to your calendar.

    You must arrive in time for Orientation Week. Orientation is an important part of your studies as well as a visa condition for all student visa holders.

    Students lying back on beanbags at the Gold Coast Orientation

    On-campus orientation

    Session 2, 2020 Orientation for students studying at Lismore, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and National Marine Science Centre campuses will be held online. Please refer to the information in the Online tab

    On-Campus orientation provides you with essential information and tools to succeed in your degree as well as great social events to help you learn about Southern Cross University’s facilities and services in a fun environment.

    • Meet the Student Orientation Leaders and find out from them what it’s like to be a student at Southern Cross University
    • Learn about the wide range of support available
    • Get to know the campus
    • Enjoy free lunch, music and fun activities
    • Opportunity to meet other students and join clubs and activities
    • Meet your Student Association

    Check the Southern Cross University website for details of the on-campus Orientation program.

    Visit the page on the main Southern Cross University website for further details.

    Did you know?People who are connected socially are more resilient. Get involved in uni life.

    Find your crew

    What matters to you? Interests you? Maybe you don't know yet, and that's totally okay. During your time at Southern Cross University we encourage you to join in with our varied program of cultural, social and sporting events and tap into our clubs and societies. Some groups are campus specific, others not. Don't forget that if you're studying online but live close enough to access a campus then we'd love for you to come along and get involved.

    UniLife header image

    The UniLife team can point you to a huge range of campus sports, clubs and societies, amongst other things. They also hold awards and run national cultural competitions.

    Coffs Harbour Students Association header image

    For students studying at our Coffs Harbour campus, Coffs Harbour Students Association are there to help you get the best out of your university experience. Connect with them to discover what support and social events are available to you.

    Invisible threads are the strongest ties.

    Friedrich Nietzsche
    Gold Coast Student Association header image

    CoastRs is your one stop shop for internal and external students on the Gold Coast campus. Run by students for students, their main goal is to ensure you are well looked after when it comes to engagement, advocacy and welfare. CoastRs also assists in supporting you through your student life journey when it matters most.

    Lismore and External Student Association header image

    LEXSA is the Lismore & External Students Association, run by students for students. Not only are they super friendly, they also support you with events, social activities, support and clubs and societies at Lismore and online.

    Southern Cross Postgraduate Association header image

    The Southern Cross Postgraduate Association (SCPA) provide resources, information and social activities for all students studying at postgraduate level at Southern Cross University.

    Stay safe when out & about

    Australia is generally a very safe country and Australian Laws are in place to protect you. Although you will receive important information about safety, security and the law during Orientation, we encourage you to also learn about safety and security in Australia before you arrive.

    Personal Safety

    Going out and having fun is a big part of life as a uni student but you also need to consider your personal safety.

    Be aware of your surroundings and avoid unsafe places.

    Leave your valuables at home and don’t carry large amounts of cash with you.

    Keep your drinks in clear view at all times and don’t accept drinks from strangers [Drink spiking].

    Plan your trip home, walk with a friend or catch a taxi.

    Checklist:

    1. Don’t walk alone at night
    2. Don’t travel with large amounts of cash
    3. Be aware of your surroundings.

    Water Safety

    Water is central to the Australian lifestyle so we want to make sure you stay safe and have fun.

    At the beach the red and yellow flags mean that the beach is patrolled by lifesavers and is the safest place to swim.

    And don't forget - always swim or surf with a friend. There are hidden dangers beneath the waves called rips. These rips are a current that will take you out to sea and can be very dangerous. So make sure you swim in between the red and yellow flags.

    Warning signs are displayed at the beach to keep you safe.

    As you can see, waves are unpredictable, especially over rocks so expect the unexpected.

    Waterholes and rivers can also have hidden dangers beneath the surface. Always remember to check beneath the surface the water and to enter slowly.

    So remember:

    1. Swim between the flags
    2. Always swim with a friend
    3. Beware of dangerous waves
    4. Always check beneath the surface for dangerous objects.

    Road Safety

    If you are planning to drive in Australia, there are some important road rules you need to know.

    It’s often helpful to drive with somebody and you must have a current drivers license.

    We drive on the left hand side of the road. That means you should always be able to see the white dotted line in the middle of the road on the right.

    NEVER drink and drive and don’t get in a car with someone who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

    DON’T talk or answer your phone while driving.

    It’s important to drive to weather conditions otherwise you'll end up like this guy [photo of a car stuck in flood waters].

    Of course, cars are not the only way to get around. Bikes or skateboards are a great way to get around, but make sure you give way to pedestrians and always wear a helmet.

    So remember guys:

    1. We drive on the left hand side of the road
    2. Don't talk on or answer your phone while driving
    3. Always drive to the weather conditions.