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The Canberra Times
The Canberra Times
Kerem Doruk

Togas and snack packs make campus welcome

Harry Parker and Maya Treverrow take advantage of free Halal Snack Packs during O-week festivities at the University of Canberra. Picture by Sitthixay Ditthavong.

For the past two years, university life has been hugely interrupted by the pandemic, robbing students of the rituals and fun of campus life.

But one of the great traditions of university - Orientation Week - was back to its former glory at the University of Canberra this week.

Toga parties, outdoor activities, live music and more than a few drinks with new friends helped welcome new students to UC.

Hungry ones were even handed out free Halal snack packs, made up of chips, kebab meat and "holy trinity" sauces to help them ease into uni life.

The atmosphere at O Week events was lively and new students said they were aware they were in a luckier position than students of the COVID-19 era, when most social aspects of university were suspended.

The purpose of O Week is to let new students explore campus before they start their classes and to form connections with other students.

Maya Treverrow, 20, and Harry Parker, 19, are both starting their business degrees this year and lined up for their snack pack after a late night toga party.

"Most of my high school education was online so being able to come to campus and meet everyone in real life has been refreshing," Ms Treverrow said.

This year's O Week also welcomed international students who have started to return back to the national capital.

"We've got a mix of students this year with international students returning after various COVID restrictions. Our events aim to be inclusive as possible and include all of our cohort," University of Canberra Clubs and Societies president Sarah Jennett said.

International students Kushal Bawa, Ariana Orallo, Sijuka Adhikari, Minakshi Sharma, Julia Appapoulay,and Xinyi Xu enjoyed O-Week festivities at the University of Canberra. Picture by Sitthixay Ditthavong

Julia Appoulay moved from Nepal to study environmental science and wants to one day become a marine biologist.

This year she is looking forward to making new friends and discovering what Canberra has to offer.

The Australian National University will hold its Orientation Week from February 13-17.

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