Around 3000 new students will get their first taste of university life with a host of orientation activities under way at Southern Cross University campuses from February 15 to March 12.

Student Affairs Officer Ann-Maree Wilkinson said orientation, which this year is themed ‘Activate’, marked the beginning of university life for new students and a big welcome back to returning students.

“The Orientation Program provides new and returning students with the must-have knowledge to start university life,” said Ann-Maree.

The program includes essential course information sessions, academic skills development sessions, library and campus tours and IT essentials.

“But as well as that there is of course the fun ‘activating’ social side, which is designed to help students meet and get to know each other and and build networks, creating an opportunity for student life balance at SCU,” Ann-Maree said.

“It’s a way of welcoming them to SCU – and there is something for everybody.”

Southern Cross University will welcome around 3000 newly enrolled students for on-campus study and around 900 students who will be studying by distance education.

Lismore campus activities will feature a free pancake breakfast, a trivia night,rollerskating, daily mindfulness and meditation sessions and much more. Students will also have the opportunity to get a taste for Brazilian dance craze ‘Zumba’, with free sessions scheduled to take place in the Plaza on Monday 15 February and repeated again on Tuesday, 9th March.

The 4th annual orientation pool party will also again be staged at Lismore Memorial Pool. The alcohol-free event has been one of the highlights of orientation in previous years.

Coffs Harbour students will enjoy social activities including a barbecue on the jetty foreshore, on-campus live music, a town bus tour, and the opportunity to wind down with a few relaxation sessions.

Southern Cross University’s new Gold Coast campus also has a jam-packed program of events for students including guest speakers, live music, sports fixtures, treasure hunts, sand sculptures, free relaxation classes and a range of social events as well as information sessions and essential academic support sessions.

The Gold Coast campus will be officially opened by Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relation, Minister for Social Inclusion, on February 17.

Full orientation program details for all campuses are available at www.scu.edu.au/orientation

PICTURE: Helping students settle into university life are, from left, Bianca Pizzol and Matt Simpson, student centre advisors, and Vivienne Roberts, OSCAR project officer.