6 free university support services to help you ace your degree

6 free university support services to help you ace your degree

Starting university is one of the most exciting times of your life. You’re exposed to new people, fresh ideas and diverse cultures, not to mention a different learning environment.

As you negotiate the new experiences coming your way, it’s normal to feel a little overwhelmed. You may not know there are a wide range of free programs available to help you out – from disability and Indigenous support services, right through to career guidance.

As a La Trobe student, you’ll have access to our full suite of support services throughout your degree. Check out our top picks in this list.

1. Academic skills support

Studying at university means learning new skills – like how to research for an assignment or work with a bunch of people you’ve never met before. That’s where our Peer Learning Advisors step in. They’re friendly, high performing students who are trained to help you with your study and assignments.

“Peer Learning Advisors provide timely academic skills support on a one-on-one basis or in a group,” says Pamela Delly, who coordinates the program at La Trobe.

“All of our Peer Learning Advisors have many tips they can share. You’ll benefit from talking to a fellow student who faces the same pressures and concerns as you do.”

Not only will you get the help you need to achieve your best – you might also make a new friend!

student being mentored at university support services
Tap into mentoring support from fellow students with La Trobe’s Peer Learning Advisors program. Image credit: La Trobe University.

2. Counselling services

Taking care of your mental health is an important part of having a successful study experience. With good mental health, you’ll find it easier to balance university, work and family.

Research shows that almost one in two Australians will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lifetime. If you’re facing personal challenges while you’re at uni, our professionally trained counsellors can help. You can choose to receive counselling in person, or by phone or Skype.

Esta Kanellopoulos, who helps run the counselling service at La Trobe, says,

Through individual counselling and group programs, we support students to strengthen their resources for dealing with mental health challenges, for both themselves and those around them.”

If you’re experiencing anything that’s impacting your mental health then please reach out to one of our counsellors. We’re here to listen.

3. Support to speak up

If you’ve seen, heard or experienced something that doesn’t feel right, it’s important not to stay silent. Speak Up is a program that helps you address unacceptable or concerning behaviour – things like bullying, discrimination, harassment and sexual violence. By speaking up, you’re contributing to a respectful culture at La Trobe. We’re always interested in what you have to say.

speak up support services young woman holding megaphone
Have your voice heard by the Speak Up program at La Trobe University. Image: Unsplash.

4. Financial assistance

Not only do you need to stay on top of assignments at uni, you also need to stay financially stable. La Trobe offers a range of financial supports to release any stress about money you may be experiencing. Our financial assistance includes:

  • Student equipment bursaries
  • Bursaries for students at risk of homelessness
  • Travel bursaries for regional students on a low income
  • Bursaries for students from a refugee background
  • Care leaver bursaries
  • Financial counselling and budgeting advice
  • Scholarships

5. Support to be Career Ready

Start thinking about your career from your first day of study at La Trobe. Our Career Ready Advantage program helps you develop the skills and attributes employers are looking for, through online courses, work placements, volunteering and workshops. Our Career Advisors will walk alongside you to provide everything from resume and interview advice, right through to connecting you with potential employers – building you with the confidence to carpe diem.

6. Support for diversity

Here at La Trobe, we celebrate diversity and understand the challenges you may face, no matter your background. For example, if you’re an Indigenous student, you can tap into Indigenous counselling, financial support, scholarships and more. As a LGBTIQ+ student, you can access a weekly group run by La Trobe’s like-minded individuals, as well as LGBTIQ+ focused support.

Each of our campuses provide chaplains who can help you join local churches and find friends of the same religious faith. If you need mobility support, our maps and parking permits will help you move easily around campus. As a Muslim student, you can join our university Islamic society and find key information about everything from halal food to prayer facilities in our Muslim Student Guide.

We also offer programs to assist you if you’re from a refugee background, such as a support officer who can answer questions and provide guidance throughout your course. And tailored, helpful advice is available if you’re a mature age or international student, too.

With services like these, you can be sure your most important needs are always met. Whatever support you’re after, by accessing it you’ll be on your way to having the best university experience ever.

See yourself needing extra help while you’re at uni? Find the service that’s right for you.