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.

“Understanding how uni works and how to organise my time, I feel like I’ve taken a lot from this program and would have been an absolute mess without it.”
– 2022 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 is the week before classes begin and includes two sessions: first, a 3-hour classroom workshop, and then a session to familiarise yourself with campus and all the services.

You will be working with student mentors and teaching staff and there will be plenty of time for personal questions and support.


Semester 1, 2023 (for mature-age students)

  • Wednesday 15th February, 1:30-4:30 (classroom session at Footscray Park)
  • Friday 17th February, 10:00-12:00 (campus where you will be studying)

What happens

If you want to know what classes will be like, this is your chance. The workshop on the first day involve small groups of students, and have a similar format to standard classes. There are presentations, group discussions, and other activities.

Topics include:

  • how classes, written assignments and tests work
  • building academic connections and getting the most out of your developing network
  • how to figure out your timetable and how blocks at VU work
  • how WiFi works
  • strategies for balancing study with other parts of your life.

In the second session you will learn:

  • where everything is on campus, including food and coffee
  • how to find your classrooms
  • about student services that are available and what support they provide.

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.

“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).

"Being provided with advice on how to study appropriately and use my time wisely. I also learnt about VU's friendly nature”  

– 2021 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), and also mature-age students (starting university when they are 25 or older).

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

How to get involved

Sign up now

Contact us for more information: [email protected]

Find out more

VU Kick Start began in 2019 and was developed and run by Dr Laurie Chapin and Dr Bert Oraison.

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].