If you’re starting to prepare for your uni adventure for 2019, our current first-years share their top five tips to ensure you succeed in VU’s block model.

In 2018 the first cohort of Australian students embarked on VU’s award-winning First Year Model. The students’ overwhelmingly successful results and satisfaction are proof that it’s working. So what is the key to their individual success? Akeisha, Anthony, Annabelle, Riley and Kirsty have some pointers…

1. Balance, balance, balance

It’s important for your health and wellbeing to keep your interests going outside of uni. With the block model at VU, you can keep working, keep your active social life, nurture relationships and continue hobbies and sport. That’s because you’ll only have three classes a week. That’s right – three, three-hour workshop-style classes a week. So you’ll have loads of time out to do whatever else you choose. And you don’t have to hang around campus between classes like your friends at other unis.

Osteopathy student Akeisha Sandhu – who achieved distinctions and high distinctions – says:

“Doing one subject at a time is less intense and gives me more time to focus on my soccer. It’s three days on, two days off, it’s really nice to have that break.”

The study–life balance of our students is paying off, shown by a dramatic increase in grades, with 48.9% of students now achieving distinctions and high distinctions (compared to 35% in 2017).

In addition, retention rates are also on the rise (88% after Block 5, compared to 82% in 2017).

Akeisha finds the perfect balance with VU's block model.

2. Keep in touch

Your lecturers and VU’s support services are there for you. Use them! The First Year Model’s retention rates have a lot to do with the connections students make with teachers and classmates and the regular feedback given to make sure you’re on the right track.

"Every week we get feedback to improve our learning, our writing and our research. It keeps us motivated to want to keep studying,” says Exercise Science student Anthony Chalker.

Anthony stays on track with regular feedback.

3. Stay motivated, stay focused

One of the reasons the First Year Model works is because it doesn’t allow you to slip into bad habits.

“By doing one subject at a time it eliminates procrastination, because we’re focusing on that one unit,” says Annabelle.

Your teacher and classmates will motivate you too. Then, after each block, you can make the most of those few days between units to recharge before you get focused again. And at the end of semester, you’ll have a few weeks off (like your friends at other unis) for some serious chilling out.

Block learning helps Annabelle avoid procrastination.

4. Use your networks

It’s a simple formula: small classes + more one-on-one time = stronger connections and networks. While you keep in touch with your lecturers, use your new networks to make friendships and bond with people around you. You’ll have lots in common – you’ve chosen the same course, after all.

But what’s truly unique at VU is that you can connect with people from all stages and walks of life, says Law student Riley Campbell:

“Because of the seminar-style classes, real engagement and connections are made. It’s such a diverse group – we’ve got mature-age students and international students – that blend of culture and experience is really amazing to be part of.

You rise to the occasion thanks to your lecturer and your classmates.”

Riley benefits from genuine connections with his classmates.

5. Immerse yourself in your future

There are so many opportunities to experience your future career at VU. During your course, make the most of VU’s strong focus on practical placements that lead to jobs and connections in your industry.

In first year, you’ll undertake complementary activities designed to enhance your learning, stimulate thinking and build the knowledge and skills required for study and career success. Activities include workshops in writing and presentation, hands-on learning, mentoring and tutoring.

As part of their complementary activities, VU’s first year Law students attended Parliament House to experience law-making process. Meanwhile, science students like Kirsty Jakab visited sustainability centre CERES and became fully immersed in their subject. Kirsty says:

“Getting out of the classroom for our field trip reminded us that these things are happening in the real world and not just in a text book. Practical classes and placement is another great way for us to learn how industry operates."

 

Writer: Jessica Jury

Kirsty's practical learning gives her an insight into her future in science.

What's next?

Visit start.vu.edu.au to download your course guide and find out how to choose VU and start in 2019.

Discover our revolutionary First Year Model.