It didn’t take long for La Trobe University student Erin Nguyen to see the perks of online learning. She took only a week to settle in and learn the ins-and-outs of Zoom’s premium features. “I do feel that learning online has also been beneficial because we can revisit recorded lectures and chat privately with our lecturers — something I couldn’t do if I was learning offline,” the marketing student says.
“The university was also very attentive to our wellbeing during this tough time, so the support staff are always ready to help you with anything you need, from mental health counselling to financial support,” she adds.
Erin’s story encapsulates the La Trobe approach to assisting students whose programmes have shifted online during the pandemic: holistic, supportive and tech-forward. It’s a welcome package to students all over the world who are facing disruptions to their academic journeys caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A QS survey last year found more than half of prospective international students planned to defer or delay their entry to university. With La Trobe, there is no need to.
The internationally-recognised, top 1% university has strategised offerings that ensure a world-class education can be at your fingertips, no matter where you are. This means that you do not have to delay your dream to go to university — you can start your studies online now and join La Trobe University on campus later when borders reopen and travel restrictions are lifted.
It starts with applicants selecting their ideal La Trobe University degree and submitting their application online. La Trobe programmes are backed by industry accreditation and filled with hands-on opportunities. Courses include IT, business, science, engineering, education, health, law and arts.
Students will then begin their studies from the comfort of their own home, with access to every academic resource on offer as well as the additional online support services provided. Once travel restrictions are lifted and they have their student visa, students will be prepared to join La Trobe in Australia, ready to enjoy campus life from day one. The university has a total of six campuses across the state of Victoria – Melbourne, Bendigo, Shepparton, Mildura and Albury-Wodonga – and one in Sydney, New South Wales.
The same qualified teachers conducting classes on campus are also the ones teaching online. “From my own experience, I feel really lucky to have amazing teachers that offered ongoing support even at times when I didn’t expect them to, such as after business hours,” shares Master of Data Science student Alex from Vietnam.
Thanks to The Learning Hub, Zoom “drop-in sessions” let students meet advisors whenever their questions need to be answered. Group assignments with fellow classmates are easily managed, enabling collaboration. An added bonus? Study resources are accessible at all times, ensuring students who require extra time to prepare for online exams are able to spend their free time looking back at materials whenever they need to.
“The university did a lot of things to support students with online studies,” shares third-year Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) student Radhika Satija from India. Assignments were adapted to fit the online study mode; professors provided PDFs to students through their learning management system. IT support is always available. To prevent students feeling isolated, student support and counselling services were promoted.
There are many other initiatives for students to meet, interact and engage with new friends everyday. At the International Student Lounge, faculty members and students share tips on how to improve virtual learning, stay connected and maintain physical and emotional wellbeing. Topics relevant to international students — such as visas, enrolment, financial support and mental health — are regularly discussed. This platform is also often used to trade recipe ideas, discuss hobbies and even share funny cat videos.
If they need more personalised help, they can call a 24-hour student support hotline or seek one-on-one guidance from the International Student Services (ISS) team. Student volunteers also provide peer-to-peer support to new entrants via the eFriends Programme. Here, they are welcomed warmly, queries are answered and useful media is shared.
La Trobe’s international student community does not just stay connected, they stay entertained. These students run a number of programmes and activities that begin on orientation day and continue right up to graduation. This includes volunteering opportunities, where students can immerse themselves in the local community, gaining skills and experience in networking and training the Australian way, while contributing to the greater good. During Cultural Exchange Day, La Trobe University pairs international students with local or other international students from different countries to share their way of life through customs, food or music.
These offerings and more let you start with an excellent online study experience, then continue on campus when travel restrictions are lifted. To know more about La Trobe University’s globally recognised education, delivered to meet your needs — click here.
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