VU's First in Family students get a kick start

VU Kick Start is a free program for first-year students who are of the first generation in their family to attend university. The program is designed to help familiarise these students with university life and undergraduate study, so that they feel more confident as a student, develop better study habits, and build a strong support network from the moment they start.

We know that there can be many obstacles to finishing high school and continuing your study. Hear from VU students about what it’s like being the first in your family to go to uni.

Celil found success through support

Bachelor of Laws graduate Celil says:

My family was always aware of my strong interest in law and they knew I needed to go to a university like VU that was unique, bold and progressive. But being the first in my family to attend university I had no idea how uni life would work. However, I knew it would not be easy. In my initial year I was struggling so much that I nearly contemplated giving up; however, thanks to VU’s Student Writing and Transition Mentors I was able to build my skill set and continue. For me, these services where a gateway to success.

At the end of first year I took Summer School and got to meet many different inspiring lecturers from all around the globe, in particular Professor Gabriel Moens from Belgium who is still a mentor to this day. With that support, my grades continued to improve. By the following year, my marks had become so good that I was invited to complete my studies with honours. I encourage students to utilise every opportunity they see, because one day you will look back and say 'it was all worth it'.

Teghan follows her passion

Bachelor of Paramedicine student Teghan says:

My grandmother was a nurse, and she would always tell me never to do nursing as it’s such a demanding job. But I was still interested in the health and medical field and decided to pursue the emergency care side of the industry to become a paramedic.

I’m the first in my family to attend university as most of my relatives have apprenticed into trades. So there was no expectation from my family that I should go to university – but they did want me to be happy with what I chose to do in life and follow it through. I’m now two years into my Bachelor of Paramedicine and thoroughly enjoying learning. I’m also implementing all my theoretical knowledge with a practical placement on road with Ambulance Victoria!


Scarlett found her feet through friendship

Bachelor of Business student Scarlett says:

I grew up outside of Benalla (200km north of Melbourne) where university wasn’t even a thought. I moved to Melbourne to work full-time after school, but was eager to try something new. As no one else in my family had studied at uni, my friends influenced my choice to pursue a degree. However, my mother encouraged me as she’d dreamed of undertaking a degree herself but couldn’t do so financially.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into and was cautious so chose to complete a Diploma of Business (Enterprise) first, for which I was awarded a Medal of Excellence, and then took a pathway into the second year of the bachelor degree as that offered a good transition.

While all of my skills have been majorly developed through my studies, the biggest change is in my confidence level. Being part of the VU Vollies program is amazing as I’ve met so many like-minded students. It was the best decision I made!