Get the best start at Victoria University (VU) with Kick Start!

VU Kick Start is a free program during Orientation Week for first-year students who are of the first generation in their family to attend university. If neither of your parents attended university, you are eligible to join – even if you have siblings who have been to uni ahead of you.

The program is designed to help familiarise you with university life and undergraduate study, so that you feel more confident as a student, develop better study habits, and build a strong support network from the moment you start at VU. The workshops are run just like VU classes, so you will know exactly what to expect on day one.

“I feel that I am ready and prepared to begin my first day. Although it definitely won’t be easy, I feel that I will be more prepared than if I didn’t go to Kick Start.”
– 2020 participant


3 students in the library

About the program

When you first start university, it's normal to not know anyone and to feel uncertain about where to turn. Our program gives you that kick start before classes even begin.

The VU Kick Start Program is delivered over two workshops (on two different days).


These dates are for new VU students who commence semester 2, 2021.

Due to the recent changes to restrictions in Victoria, the two-day workshop will now be online only via Zoom:

  • Thursday 29 and Friday 30 July, 12-2pm both days

What happens

If you want to know what classes will be like, this is your chance.

The two-day workshops involve small groups of students, and have a similar format to standard classes. There are presentations, group discussions, and other activities.

We'll also share all the details about:

  • how classes, written assignments and tests work
  • how to figure out your timetable and how 'blocks' at VU work
  • how WiFi works
  • where everything is on campus, including food and coffee
  • commuting
  • strategies for balancing study with other life demands.

Kick Start has a supportive atmosphere, with helpful staff, and students who have 1-2 years of experience at uni. You'll get a chance to ask a lot of questions and meet other first-year students, just like yourself.

In addition, you can participate in an eight-session group program where you can meet regularly with a first-in-family student mentor who will provide you ongoing advice and guidance throughout your first semester.

study group of 3 multicultural female students in library talks around a table

“It was jarring and uncomfortable, at least at first, like being dropped into a strange new terrarium, a habitat that hadn’t been built for me.”

– Michelle Obama, on arriving at university as a first-in-family student (Becoming, p78).

"I was introduced to new people, I got to have a wander around the campus, and it allowed me understand what is expected of me as a student.”  

– 2020 participant


This free program is open to domestic students of all ages who are in their first year of a university degree.

It is specifically for students who are first-in-family, which means that neither of your parents attended university (but you may have a sibling at uni).

Unfortunately, we are not offering the program to international or TAFE students at this time.

How to get involved

If you are beginning at VU in semester 2 and are interested in getting involved, sign up here. You will be the first to know when registration opens.

Register now

Find out more

VU Kick Start began in 2019 and was developed and run by Dr Laurie Chapin and Dr Bert Oraison. They teach psychology in the College of Health and Biomedicine and the First Year College, and also hold research fellowships with the Institute for Health and Sport.

VU Kick Start was recognised with the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in 2020.

VU Kick Start has been featured a number of media outlets:

VU has a 5-star rating for First in Family admissions (Good Universities Guide 2019) and almost 40% of our domestic undergraduate students are the first in their family to go to uni. Read four of these students' stories and find out how we can support you in your application and transition to tertiary study.

If you have any questions about VU Kick Start, please email [email protected].