It was an atmosphere of excitement and fun-filled activities as students got into the thick of things beginning with orientation and the start of Semester 1 at The University of the South Pacific (USP) Tonga Campus.
Over 300 new students, including those from Tupou College who enrolled in the Pacific Technical and Further Education (Pacific TAFE) Foundation programme, were part of the Semester 1 Orientation at the USP Tonga Campus.
Part of the Orientation programme for new entrants was the Moodle training at the beginning of the semester. New entrants were divided into small groups of 20 students to fit in the computer laboratories where Mrs Katarina Foliaki conducted the Moodle training.
Chemistry Foundation student Stanley Vailea said, “I found the orientation very informative. It provided information that helped me gain more insight into the university and its programmes.”
“I know that USP is the right University for me, and during this orientation, I found that the sessions helped me understand the processes of how to do things like online learning, registration, and other things that I was not confident about,” he added.
Jabez Pahulu, pursuing his Bachelor of Law, shared that the orientation was very informative as it provided a lot of necessary information about the school.
“I understood how things work – where to go for help, who to talk to when I have problems, and even where to go when I have classes. The orientation programme is handy for new students because transitioning from high school to university is a bit scary. This orientation programme puts many things in perspective and, at the same time, makes me feel more at ease, and I am now ready to face this semester with confidence,” Pahulu said.
Also pursuing her law degree, Mele Ma’u said the orientation was good because she could understand better how assessments would work and where she would be for her lectures and tutorials.
“The orientation cleared up many things for me, and I learned what to do when I need help when I face academic problems in my courses. I am also happy that I realised that I always have alternatives to what I can do. Different modes of learning are available, the accessibility of resources, and the availability of help to all students.
Campus Director Dr Robina Havea said, “This orientation is by far the most well-attended in the last four years since I have been here as the Campus Director. It is also the first time we have had a proper orientation since the COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.”
“We have had a full house orientation this time, and it was pleasing to see that new students are growing in numbers, and they value their future in choosing to study at USP. We take our orientation seriously because it is a great opportunity for staff to meet the new students,” Dr Havea added.
“We ensure these new students are properly welcomed, and they feel at home. Apart from understanding the complexity of the USP system, the students need to know where and how to get help. It will be a challenging fourteen weeks for them, and they need to be confident and know that we provide all the help they need during their time at USP.”