The sausage sandwiches were cooking and new students socialising for the official kick off of Orientation Week 'O-Week' celebrations at Charles Sturt University Port Macquarie.
O-Week began at midday on Tuesday, February 25 with community groups and clubs hosting a market day at the campus. Students were officially welcomed with speeches, activities and tours of the facilities.
Port Macquarie first year student, Bailey Cleaver will be one of over 60 students undertaking the first nursing course at CSU Port Macquarie.
The former Port Macquarie High School student said she had been offered a place in Newcastle but opted for university closer to home.
"Charles Sturt is close to home and I did hear that this has brand new facilities for the nursing course. It looks exciting to be honest," she said.
"I want to travel with nursing. I want to be able to take my degree anywhere and help people all over the world. It's such a broad course and I think I can do that here.
"I've done a campus tour and had a look around. It's a good campus with study hubs which is nice and I think I'll be here a lot in the library.
"I did get into university in Newcastle but I have the opportunity here to come home. I can save money and come to campus, which is what I wanted."
First year para-medicine student Jess Kemp, from Tamworth, said there weren't many available courses in Australia for para-medicine other than CSU Port Macquarie.
"This was the closest one to home, it had a reasonable ATAR and the university seems really nice and welcoming," she said.
Over four days of fun students will have the opportunity to take river cruises, learn-to-surf lessons, play paintball, beach games, an 'Amazing Race Around Port Macquarie' and try ten pin bowling.
Students will also familiarise themselves with student support services, meet course directors, academic staff and build friendships with fellow attendees.
Charles Sturt director of external engagement in Port Macquarie, Kate Wood-Foye said the university would like to thank the community for making new students feel welcome.
"O-Week is four amazing days of bringing these wonderful new students into our university family. They can meet their potential lecturers and fellow student liaison officers," she said.
"There are many activities they can become involved with as part of university life. It's a holistic view of university life and it's important they feel they are part of Port Macquarie as well.
"Students have come from all over the country and there are some international students as well. Port Macquarie campus is a growing international campus with students from India, Nepal, Canada and the United Kingdom."
Around 735 on-campus students have been accepted to begin studies at the Port Macquarie campus this year. An increase of over 100 students for 2020, according to Ms Wood-Foye.
"Our new course in nursing is hugely popular and we are at capacity with over 60 students," she said.
"Para-medicine, criminal justice and the health science programs are strong courses for us because we are in a health precinct that is booming. Courses and jobs are in demand and we have state-of-the-art facilities for them.
"We have new facilities and spaces for teaching coming along including wonderful new labs and learning commons. It's going to be a really welcome addition to have that extra space."
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