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More than just quality education

Friday, December 07, 2012

For most of us a major turning point in our lives is leaving school and beginning our lives as an adult. If you are a school-leaver, you are entering a time of great change in your life, but even if you are starting tertiary education as an older student, studying at a university not only means adjusting to a new way of learning, but a new way of living.

There are many adjustments to make - a lively and diverse new campus environment to negotiate, new accommodation away from the familiar surroundings of home and many new people to meet - both fellow studentsand lecturers.

The University of the South Pacific is well aware of the many challenges that new students face. When a student enrolls at USP, they become part of the USP family. The University has a Campus Life Section dedicated to enhancing the growth of students to reach their full potential by providing rich learning opportunities through programs, services and facilities which include student accommodation, food outlets, sports and recreation, volunteer programs, community engagement, health, counselling, inclusive disability, career office, campus life activities, first year experience and student orientation, security and many more.

Halls of Residence

USP offers 'on campus' accommodation at Laucala Campus for over 900 students and provides a unique opportunity for students to live within a diverse residential student population. Our residential population comes from the 12 member countries plus international students from US, Canada, Australia and beyond. USP offers 31 Student Married Quarters units as well as 10 Halls of Residences on Laucala campus & 2 residential blocks at StathamCampus.

In addition USP provides accommodation and supervisory services to ensure the well-being of residential students as well as programmes and activities necessary for the personal and social development of residential students. Residential students at USP are supported by Residential Officers who provide services and supervision as well as assistance for students

The Food Court

The Food Court on Laucala Campus offers several outlets offering different styles of cuisine, so patrons can choose from a variety of Asian, European and Island dishes. The opening hours of the Food Court are leisurely, so students can use the opportunity not only to eat, but also to study and socialise. There are also two mini-supermarkets on campus.

Sports Facilities

The home of recreation and sport at Laucala Campus is the Community Recreation Centre (CRC). This comprises the gymnasium, tennis courts, squash courts, swimming pool, veranda bar and a state-of-the-art fitness centre that boasts new weight-training equipment including an exciting hydraulic circuit.

Fitness Instructors are available to provide you with all your exercise advice, to design exercise programmes and to assess your current level of fitness. Students enjoy taking part in daily training sessions in the Fitness Centre, aerobic workouts & Zumba classes at the CRC gymnasium or swimming in the attractive pool a short distance from the gymnasium. The WOT EVA bar is there for some after sport refreshment and snacks, a great place to make friends and to socialize in a safe and quiet environment on campus.

The key to a successful university experience is to find a balance between attending classes, serious study and research, social interests and other activities. The CRC staff are qualified to advise you in any area of recreation, sport and fitness.

The University also has an exciting program to promote sports clubs across the campuses. Club sports currently incorporate rugby, soccer, paddling, basketball, netball, tennis, hockey, touch rugby, volleyball, squash, lawn tennis, table tennis and badminton. Join a sports club and enjoy making new friends.

Counselling Centre

The Counselling Centre provides a friendly, professional, confidential service to its students and staff. It aims to help its USP family members address any personal, social or academic problems in order for them to gain the maximum benefit from their experience at USP. The student counsellors work very closely with lecturers, medical officers and other professionals in the Suva area to ensure that you receive the best help available.

Career Centre

Staff are also available to assist with career choices, training programmes, job vacancies, how to produce a personal resume, or prepare for job interviews.

Health Services

The University operates a Student Health Services Scheme. A membership fee is charged on a semester basis. It is compulsory for students living on campus and those who hold student visas to join the Student Health Services Scheme. Others may join if they wish. Given the costs of consultation and drugs in and around the Suva area, students are strongly urged to join the Student Health Services Scheme.

Members of the scheme are provided with health services including medical examinations, diagnostic tests and treatment of common illnesses such as colds, flu, gastric problems and the like. The treatment of illness requiring hospitalisation or specialist care will be provided through the government hospitals.

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