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 includes a 3-hour workshop the week before classes begin, as well as mentoring with experienced students throughout your first semester at VU.

There will also be food and prizes.


Monday 25 to Wednesday 27 July.

  • Group 1: St Albans, Monday 25 July | this session has been cancelled
  • Group 2: City Campus 370 Little Lonsdale St, Tuesday 26 July, 12.30–3.30pm, Room T0313, Level 3
  • Group 3: Footscray Park, Wednesday 27 July, 12.30–3.30pm, Room D201, Ground level of Building D.

What happens

If you want to know what classes will be like, this is your chance. Whether you have just come from high school, or you are a mature-age student, there are a lot of new experiences to learn about.

The workshops involve small groups of students, and have a similar format to standard classes. There are presentations, group discussions, and other activities. There will also be free food and prize draws for JB Hi Fi vouchers.

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
  • finding your classrooms
  • 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.

“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).

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

How to get involved

Registration for the semester 2, 2022 program is open.

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].