Surviving the First Week at the University of WA

Lian, a Bachelor of Arts student at the University of Western Australia, gives you all the advice you're looking for: whether you're unsure whether to accept your uni offer, don't know how to enrol, or are looking for tips on how to survive the first week of uni, Lian has all the info you'll need.

Your Offer

So, you have been made an offer to study at UWA. The important thing now is to decide what you want to do the two key questions to answer are: Is the degree you have been offered exciting enough? Did you score high enough to get a better offer in the second round?

Detailed instructions will be provided in you offer letter however here is a quick summary of your options:

  • You can enrol in the degree you have been offered!

  • Defer your offer so you want to start at a later date.

  • Save your offer but hold out for a better offer in the second round. You can change your preferences for the second round but be sure to leave the degree you have been offered in your preference list, this will automatically save it, in case you are not made a more preferable offer. You might be made an offer for a degree that you have selected as a higher preference, which would cancel your first round offer.

  • Reject your offer by removing it from your preference list and you might be made an offer for another degree in round two.

If you were not made an offer in the Main Round, you still might be in the second round. You can either rearrange your preferences or leave them the same.

You will need to finalise all changes before Tuesday 24 January 2012. Second Round Offers will be made on Thursday 2 February 2012.

Check out the TISC website for more information and to manage your preferences online. UWA's Unistart website is also full of helpful information.


You can either enrol in person at sessions occurring during O-Week or online. Either way, before enrolling you should have a good exploration on the UWA handbooks website to get an idea of what majors and subjects you would like to enrol in. There are also pre-enrolment sessions organised at UWA on Monday January 23 and Tuesday January 24, where student experts will give degree-specific advise about your enrolment options. Don't worry too much if you are still confused or unsure, there will be degree advisors available to give good tips about which units could be good for you. It is also worth knowing that it is quite easy to add or drop units even after classes begin, in case you realise that you made a mistake.



O-Week is Monday February 20 to Friday February 24 – the week before classes begin. O-Week is your chance to get to know the campus, enrol in your units and get involved in uni life. UWA will mail out detailed information to you before you begin but here is a run-down of what to expect: Monday will be a 'check-in' day. You can get hooked up with a student mentor, have a tour of the campus, libraries and buildings and score heaps of free food. Tuesday through Thursday will be enrolment days, where you can come into uni, speak to student advisors and finalise your choice of units for first year. UWA will let you know what particular day is most relevant for enrolling in your degree. Finally, the Friday will be O-Day festival, run by the Student Guild.



O-Day is a celebration for all new students, with live music, give-aways, free food and more. Perhaps the most important part of O-Day is all the clubs and societies will line James Oval with stalls, giving you a perfect chance to sign up to any social groups, sporting clubs, cultural societies, political organisations or publications. There is pretty much a group representing any possible interest on campus. The clubs and societies are really the life blood of the student population at UWA. Unlike high school, it can become hard to stay in touch with friends who might all be enrolled in different subjects or degrees, so joining groups that interest you is the best way to maintain a healthy social life throughout your degree.

5 Tips for 5 Days at Uni

  1. Visit your lecture theatres and rooms before your classes start – avoid getting lost and missing introductory lectures

  2. Wait until the second week to buy your textbooks, avoid the queues that last for hours. Look for second hand textbooks in the second hand book store, on notice boards, on e-bay, and in discount stores near campus.

  3. Don't stress too much about anything; if you miss stuff or get confused, there will always be someone to help.

  4. Meet heaps of people and make lots of new friends, put yourself out there, don't be shy!

  5. Join a few different clubs and societies – don't just limit yourself to drinking clubs: take up a new sport and join a political group. Exercise your body, mind and soul not only your liver.

Location, location, location

Best coffee around
Ned's cafe, on Broadway. More expensive than coffee on campus, but sometimes you need a professional barista to make your coffee.

Best on-campus cafe
Science Library Café. With fair-trade organic coffee, heaps of healthy food including vegetarian and gluten free options. Not just for science students.

Cheapest food
Broadway shopping area.  Lots to choose from including Kebabs, Chinese, Malaysian, an IGA and a pub. Also look out for free barbecues and food on oak lawn.

Best Quiet Spot
Reid library has comfortable couches to read and study on, and there are heaps of quiet garden areas you can stretch out and study in – or take a cheeky nap.