What students should ask during Orientation

Last 19 March, Cambridge International College Higher Education (CIC HED) held its Term 1 2018 Orientation Day and welcomed new international students excited to pursue business studies in management, marketing and accounting. There was a vibrant discussion on various topics like student support, student rights and safety.

This highlights the two-fold purpose of Orientation: one is for the faculty and staff to introduce the College, the Australian culture and how to make the most of their stay in Melbourne—as is often the case—while the other is for new students to validate their choice of school by raising important questions or concerns. The latter then becomes an opportunity for faculty and staff to understand the needs of international students. What are some of the important questions that students need to ask during Orientation? Below are a few questions that will help students gauge a school’s learning environment:

Describe the faculty profile.

No matter how talented or skilled students already are, they will always need a healthy amount of guidance and mentoring from teachers who are well-versed in international student education. CIC’s faculty hold remarkable academic credentials and have extensive professional experience from different industries.

What support services are available?

Are there people whom students can turn to for academic support, career counselling or even for personal problems? The availability of student support services that cover a range of student needs is just as important as having experienced faculty. Students seek personal and professional development too, not just a degree. CIC has support programs for academic skills, career building, welfare, and others.

What are my career prospects after graduation?

Students who think long-term should ask about how their studies will lead to the kinds of jobs they want in the future. Aside from classroom learning, are there educational excursions involved? Pathways? Workshops? A related question can be about alumni—where they are right now and how they’ve applied what they learned.

Are there social events that I can join?

Contrary to what others may think, asking about social events in an academic setting is not off. In fact, it is as valid as asking about and finding out the quality of the academic program. Social events oftentimes serve as the platform where students bond and develop a support network. Friendships and relationships made in school become a student’s professional network in the future. Socialising also develops one’s soft skills like communication, flexibility and emotional intelligence.