Success in her first year

With more time to master one subject before learning the next, Olena Nguyen says VU’s groundbreaking First Year Model has made her journey to become a social worker much less stressful.

Born in Vietnam, Olena came to VU in 2018 to study the Bachelor of Social Work at VU’s Footscray Park campus.

She is one of the first students to take part in the First Year Model, where subjects are delivered one at a time in four-week blocks, rather than multiple subjects delivered at the same time over a 12-week semester.

“I chose to study at VU because of the First Year Model. VU is the first university in Australia to apply the First Year Model to undergraduate degrees in the first year, which is really interesting and unique.

I like it because I now have more time to focus on one subject only, and I can study it effectively because I am not so stressed out or overwhelmed by having to learn other subjects as well.

In the class there aren’t too many students and it gives me more opportunity to interact with my lecturers. They know me by name – and I know them.”

Olena says the support from VU’s teaching staff is another great asset of the University.

“My lecturers are super friendly. Whenever I have questions or issues I send them an email and they reply immediately.

They also support me in other ways, such as applying for scholarships or finding work opportunities.

The learning environment is really good for me, and so is the First Year Model.”

Course studied

Bachelor of Social Work