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Tips for the first semester and your start at university

No matter whether you are studying for the first time or switching to a different course of study. Studying is the start of a new phase in your life. It’s exciting and stressful. To make sure you don’t lose your bearings in all the euphoria, you’ll find lots of tips and tricks here for a successful start to your new studies and your first semester.

Before the start of your studies: This is what you should take care of

You’ve got your admission to the university or your desired course of study in the bag? Then start right away with the next steps. With these tips, you can make the start of your studies as relaxed as possible:

- Find your way around the university

If you’ve just finished school, everyday life at university will be a big adjustment for you. This is because students have to take care of all their appointments and study progress themselves. If you miss important deadlines, you alone will bear the consequences. So be proactive when it comes to your schedule, registering for seminars or exam dates. Check with your university as soon as possible to find out which dates are important to you. It also doesn’t hurt to take a tour of the university to get your bearings. This will save you the trouble of looking for rooms and buildings when the first lectures begin.

- Start looking for housing right away

Cheap housing near a university is always in high demand. So you shouldn’t wait too long and start looking for a shared apartment in the city or a place in a student dormitory right away. But your first own apartment does not have to be old and worn out. If you value privacy, good learning conditions and living comfort, you should definitely check out MILESTONE. In many university hotspots you can already find the fully equipped, cozy designer apartments for students. The cleverly designed common rooms will help you make new contacts quickly.

- Clarify your finances

Financing your studies is a headache for many students. But there is an effective remedy: clarify your finances and make sure you have the necessary sources of income. Create an overview of your monthly expenses. Then list what’s coming into your account on a regular basis. You may also be eligible for government grants or scholarships, which you must apply for in good time. Can’t get by without a part-time job? Then get an overview of the best student jobs and start looking around in good time. We’ve also put together some tried-and-true money-saving tips for studying, so you’ll have more left over at the end of the month.

- Do the paperwork

Getting your own place means you’ll have to take care of some bureaucratic stuff. For example, you have to register at your new place of residence. When abroad, you may need to sign up for a different cell phone contract and generally register for an Internet connection if it’s not included in the cost of living. Also necessary: Get your student ID, semester ticket and library card. In addition, there are necessary insurances such as health insurance, liability insurance and accident insurance. So that you don’t have to go through the hassle of gathering all the information, we’ll tell you which insurances are important for students in Austria.

- Get all lecture notes and compulsory readings

In order to prepare yourself well for the content of the lectures, you can take a look at the lecture notes as soon as they are available. Many courses and seminars require required reading, which you should work through beforehand. Instead of buying everything new, ask higher semesters or borrow the books from the library. This will save you money.

- Seek help and make contacts

It’s hard to get started. But don’t forget that it’s the same for everyone in your freshman year. New friendships are made quickly. Of course, this works best if your housing has common areas and you are proactive in reaching out to others. In addition, you can always ask people from higher semesters for help. In addition, every university has a neutral contact point for students who can help with both legal and organizational questions.

At the beginning of your studies: This is important during the semester

The first semester is particularly exciting because everything is new. Take the following tips to heart in order to master everyday university life in a relaxed manner:

- Organize yourself

To make rapid progress in your studies, it is important to organize yourself well. Weekly plans and clear priorities can help. Take enough time to sort and file your documents regularly. This will save you a lot of stress before exams and you can concentrate fully on learning. Do you want to know how to use your time efficiently during lectures? Then take a look at our tips for more self-organization in your studies.

- Use your days wisely

The relaxed student life was once upon a time. Nowadays, many students are so pressed for time that they can hardly keep up. Part-time jobs, lectures and exams – it can be pretty overwhelming, especially in the first semester. If time management isn’t your strong suit, we’ll give you some important tips on how to properly plan your life in college. Take a look at the article Time Management for Students.

- Take time to unwind

Sports, partying and enjoying life with other students: Free time is part of being a student. And especially when things get stressful, you shouldn’t do without it. Most universities and colleges offer inexpensive or even free sports programs or courses for students. Here you can not only get to know others, but also acquire new skills and have a good time.

- Plan your semester break

The semester is over sooner than you think. But you want to make good use of the time. Either to recover, to do an internship or to earn money. No matter which of these options you choose: A lot of things need lead time. So don’t wait until the vacations start, kick off your plans early.

First exams: How to prepare properly

Before the semester break starts, there is one more big issue. The exams in the first semester are often used to check exactly who is actually suitable for the course. But that’s no reason to worry. Instead of putting pressure on yourself, invest your time in good preparation. With these tips, you’ll be well prepared:

- Make a study plan

Get an overview, compile your study material and calculate the time you will need to study. This will ensure that you don’t put everything off until the last minute and end up underachieving. This is just one of 15 tips for preparing for exams in university.


- Find the right place to study

You should feel comfortable while studying. In shared apartments, concentration often leaves much to be desired, which is why many students prefer to have their own apartment. These often have common rooms where you can meet others to study. The library and study corners of your university or your favorite café are also welcome alternatives.

- Try out different learning methods

The learning method that works best for you depends on the subject matter, the exam, and your disposition. Making flashcards is still a popular classic – on paper or online. But have you heard of the Loci method or the Memory Palace? We’ll explain what’s behind them in the article Learning methods in your studies.

- Put together a suitable study group

Especially for the preparation of an oral exam, a good study group is worth its weight in gold. Everyone benefits from mutual quizzing and feedback. And shared suffering is easier to bear in a group. The greater the shared joy of passing the exam, isn’t it?

We are sure: With these tips, your first semester will be a complete success. We at MILESTONE wish you a good start to your studies!