Start of year FAQs

How do I find out key dates for the year?
Check out the La Trobe 2014 academic calendar, that includes key start of semester dates, exam periods, essential holiday periods and more!

How do I work out my uni timetable?
If you’re still struggling with your university timetable don’t worry, type in your subject codes or department of your course and write up your timetable and voilà. It’s easy as that.

Who is my subject coordinator?
You can find this out by going to the subject search website, ($.startup) and typing in the subject code. The subject coordinator and their email address will appear, at the bottom.

Where can I buy/sell my textbooks?
The secondhand bookshop is a great place to get cheap books, check out their opening hours here:

What books do I need for each subject?
You can use the subject search website mentioned above to see the books listed for each subject. It’s always a good idea to wait until your first lecture/tutorial to find out what books you will need as some books are listed but they are not required books.

You can also head to the Co-op Bookshop site at to see what books they are in stock, then buy them in store at your campus. Another handy resource is the La Trobe Book Sales group on Facebook. This is where you can see what books students are selling, and hopefully where you can grab some great deals!

How do I organise my parking permit?
Organising your parking depends on your campus, find out where to get your permits, and more information about fees here:

What clubs can I join?
There are heaps of clubs and societies looking for new members, you can sift through the list and contact them here:

How can I meet people?
The Eagle Bar is a fantastic place to meet new people, socialize and have a few drinks and a meal with mates. The bar also has some events coming up which you can check out:

What can I do if I’m struggling with a subject?
If you are having trouble understanding some of the content in a lecture or can’t seem to get your head around a homework task – don’t leave it till the last minute to worry about! Ask your tutor first, either in person or via email is always good. If you find you need more assistance then try asking your lecturer or subject coordinator. If they don’t help, and you’re still feeling unsure about something, you can get help from workshops, drop-in sessions and from the Peer Learning Advisers who are always happy to help. Take a look at the Student Learning link for more details:

All the buildings look the same. How do I find my next class?
We’ve all been helplessly lost before, and we all know how much it sucks walking around aimlessly, so to try avoiding this take a quick look at the campus map: If you’re still lost, the Lost On Campus App is also another good one to download.

Don’t hesitate to ask us questions, and drop us a line at to share your first year experience.

Have a happy first year guys!

Lectures, tutorials, readings… and you

Hi! How was Orientation? Hope you all had a blast, made some friends and learned a few things about La Lovely La Trobe.

In last week’s blog Textbooks! Subject Guides! Preparing for the Semester and Your Classes, I gave you an overview into how uni works for students and why each part plays a key role in your learning. With that understanding in mind, this week’s blog provides a rundown on how those components actually work. Given you need to learn independently – unlike high school’s teacher-directed style – feeling overwhelmed initially is a sure side effect of the first lectures, tutorials, readings and first assignments.

However, a little understanding about these things goes a long way, and I hope that I can ease you into semester feeling confident about your studies, knowing what’s what, how to access it, and how to make the most of it.  Welcome to uni.

Continue reading

Learning Your Way Around

Hi newbie friends!

Last week I gave you the run down on what you can expect out of O-Week and what things you should make the most of.  Now orientation is slowly coming upon us, first the international students this week followed by all students next week.  Right after that we launch straight into semester, so there’s no time like the present to start getting acquainted with our wonderful campuses. This particular blog is pretty specific to Melbourne Bundoora (because it’s HUGE!), but any of our regional readers can take a leaf and prepare themselves in similar ways. Continue reading

Textbooks! Subject Guides! Preparing for the Semester and your Classes

Well friends, there’s just a week to go before your first classes! Getting nervous? Excited? Worried? Looking forward to Orientation just so you can begin already?

If you haven’t already, scroll down to go over my Planning O Week and Learning Your Way Around recent blogs to make sure you’re absolutely ready to get everything you need out of Orientation. This week is for you. Not second or third years, but for you as the new students who need some extra guidance to help with your transition into this wondrous place called university. Hundreds of students are volunteering their time alongside staff to get you acquainted with all the things they love about La Trobe. So take the tour, attend all the information sessions, get your parking and myki concessions sorted, then kick back and relax over a sausage sizzle or a beer and aim to make a few friends among the fun. Among the social events happening in O-Week are:

Now aside from all that fun, you are probably starting to wonder about textbooks and when the study stuff will start to kick off. The good news is that if your enrolment is proceeding without hitches, then it should all be happening already, if not, very soon (this week in fact!). You want to look out for subject guides on the LMS, and spend a couple of hours this week or next planning out just what your semester will look like in terms of study load. Continue reading to get the low-down. Continue reading

LTU website navigation & connections: for faster access

Hi again friends!  I hope by now you have attended an Enrolment Day and sorted out the subjects you are interested in, signed up for this year, plus paid your fees and collected your student ID. How much do you love your new ID photo? Smile!

If not, go back over my first two blogs to familiarise and make sure you attend one of the last few Enrolment Days soon!  If you have, now’s the time for step two, to prepare yourself for O-Week and the start of semester, in short, Ready4Uni!  Below you will find some handy tips about getting used to the La Trobe Uni website and the various links and logins – simple reading to help you prepare ahead of O-Week and classes! Continue reading

Mastering Assessments Part 2: Submitting Assignments

In follow up to my previous blog about writing assessments, here I conclude with the points of issue for submitting them: referencing, statement of authorship, Turnitin, deadlines, essay boxes versus online submission, and finally a note about special considerations. Figure them out early and you need never encounter an issue when it comes to handing in assignments. Continue reading

Mastering Assessments – part 1, writing them

At first impression writing an essay or report is no easy feat. So difficult in fact, that they are broken into stages with equal amounts of help out there to master them: research (see the library); planning (see time management); note-taking and writing the draft (see Academic Literacy and Learning); plus further research and editing, then referencing (see library); before finally submitting (see turnitin). Then there’s help if you can’t make deadlines (see Special Consideration). In the lead up to my application for university, I even did a bridging class that revolved around mastering essay writing, section for section.  Before that I couldn’t write an essay at all, early evidence of my first degree indicates I knew nothing more than how to photocopy copious amounts of irrelevant information, killing trees and orang-utans in South-East Asian rainforests as I went.  I lacked any ability to turn that paper into my own opinions and thought, much less put it into an essay.  Which is why I had to do a bridging course.

Now, I believe that once you master the basics, they aren’t as hard nor intimidating as they seem, as I once thought. Time consuming, yes, after all it is a learning process – but not hard. In the next two blogs I will give you the basics to help you feel more comfortable with assessments ahead of the week 6-13 due dates for most essays and reports. Be sure to tune in next week over the Easter break for the second installment, but read on for the basics of writing larger assignments. Continue reading

Echo & Recorded Lectures

A couple of weeks ago I published a blog called Lectures, Tutorials, Reading … and You. In it I detailed a program called Lectopia and very complicated instructions on how to use it.
Well. That was the old system. Of course having gotten through first week I have been introduced to the new system and it is much better. Way better. It’s like jumping from video to DVDs. You can do more than just pause, you can skip through stuff, like the breaks in the two-hour lectures, or move it back a bit to repeat just that last minute. Eek! I’m excited!
Rather than confuse you all by going back and editing the other post and writing a whole new section, I just thought I’d make a new post. So jump in for the latest on recorded lectures – I won’t keep you long 🙂 Continue reading