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 the first in their family to attend university, which means that neither of your parents attended university (but you may have a sibling at uni).

It 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


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).


Kick Start for semester 1 has concluded.

For students who commence semester 2, Kick Start will be scheduled during Orientation Week (26–30 July).

What happens

The workshops involve small groups of students, with a similar format to standard classes, incorporating blended learning components on the same platform used across the university – VU Collaborate.

The program teaches you about building your uni network – that is, connecting with and gaining the support systems, knowledge, and people who are essential to your success and happiness at VU.

The workshops will focus on three areas:

  1. building your university support networks
  2. fostering confidence in academic success
  3. increasing your familiarity with how classes work.

The program is free.

Some students will also be randomly selected to participate in extended peer mentoring throughout their first semester at VU.

“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 know how to access everything the uni has to offer and I’m not afraid to ask a question as there is always someone that would have an answer for me.” 

– 2019 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].