First-Year Experience Program

What is First-Year Experience (FYE) Program?

The First-Year Experience (FYE) program is a new, research based, pilot program designed to support students from non-traditional backgrounds in their transition to ANU and through to successful completion of their first-year.

The program has been developed in response to the new ANU Admissions, Scholarship and Accommodation model that sought to streamline the admissions process and consequently encourage a greater number of students from diverse backgrounds to study at ANU.

The FYE program engages students from diverse backgrounds at the key stages of their first-year at university. The program is developed on the premise that student experiences and life circumstances differ and not all students have the same resources to prepare for and adapt to the challenges of their first-year of university.

The FYE program is tailored to participants needs and interests.  Participants have opportunities to attend an annual camp, academic workshops and social events, utilise additional services and resources, as well as develop their leadership skills through program based training and experience in roles within the FYE program.  Additional opportunities are provided through FYE initiatives that promote positive engagement with fellow first-year students, later students and alumni, also from non-traditional backgrounds.


Am I Eligible to Join the FYE program?

You are not required to sign up to join this program.  As this is a pilot program eligible students are invited to join.

This program aims to engage domestic, undergraduate students from regional, rural, remote and low socioeconomic areas and those who are first in their immediate family to attend university.  Research shows that early investment in non-traditional students enhances university success and completion rates. 

The majority of eligible first-year students are invited to join the FYE yearlong program before the commencement of semester one each academic year, with the first major event, the FYE camp, taking place in the week before the semester's orientation week.

"The amazing people, the opportunities and the fantastic experiences we shared at the FYE camp made the daunting experience of moving away from home and leaving family so much easier."  2020 First-Year Experience (FYE) Pilot Program student participant. 


What benefits are there for the FYE program participants?

We understand that coming to university is both an exciting and overwhelming experience and we want to make sure that you have access to all the services and resources that you need to get off to a good start and also maintain your momentum throughout the year!

FYE participants can:

  • Gain connections and important insights from experienced ANU students and staff on how you can have an enjoyable transition and successful first year at university.
  • Know where to seek expert assistance and support, no matter what academic and/or personal changes you might experience in your first year at ANU.
  • Become so comfortable in the ANU environment that it feels like your second home.
  • Grow your personal, social and academic networks.

What Happens in the FYE program?

We run a range of targeted events, workshops and fun social activities in the FYE program!  Our staff members are here to help you further develop your skills, meet other students and feel welcomed during your first year at ANU.  Student participation and feedback is key to the FYE program as key initiatives are driven by the students' needs, wants and interests.


Is There Anything Else I Need to Know about FYE?

The FYE program is a strengths-based program founded on positive psychology. It is co-designed and facilitated by ANU staff, student leaders and volunteers who also come from non-traditional backgrounds.  It aims to create connections, a sense of community, foster independence and resilience and build a community to support first-year retention and overall student experience.

If you share a connection with the FYE cohort and/or are willing to contribute as a volunteer to the FYE program or would just like to know more about the First-Year Experience program, please email

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