Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon
Friday 7 October 2022 4:42pm

Kickstart 2022 cohort image
Kickstart 2022 cohort.

Spending a few extra weeks getting an early start to University life is highly recommended, an Otago University Pacific student reckons.

Kickstart 101 is a six-week Summer School paper that prepares prospective Māori and Pacific students for a successful degree ahead.

The programme is free to students eligible for Fees Free study, which includes accomodation, meals and trips.

Students enrolled can earn 18 points towards their degree (the equivalent of one paper) while learning fundamental University skills and building relationships with peers.

The first two weeks of the programme are held online, and the remaining four involve students staying at a residential college, attending in‑person classes and exploring Dunedin.

Sociology and Anatomy student Tevita Fifita was part of the 2022 Kickstart cohort and says the programme was important for building his relationship with the University of Otago.

“The reason I joined Kickstart was because, coming out of high school, I had no idea what was going on, and I didn't want to get lost at uni,” he says.

Tevita says this was an opportunity to build a small community ahead of the first semester, friends he “still keeps in touch with” a year into his degree.

He says the paper helped refine his essay-writing, time-management, self-reflection and critical-thinking skills.

Building confidence in class and familiarising himself with the support staff were also central aspects of the summer school paper for Tevita.

“Coming into this new environment from high school, you don't really know if or when you should speak up. I think Kickstart really got us into the habit of speaking up to the point where it became comfortable,” he says.

To get used to different forms of assessment, students were tasked with completing an essay, a group project and weekly reflections.

“The essay was mostly anecdotal; it involved writing about the experiences of Pacific people in institutions. We needed to talk about our experiences and how we can lead ourselves towards success.”

“I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get into the groove of uni while still having the opportunity to make friends, see Dunedin and have fun.”

How to apply

Applications for Kickstart/Kia Ita close 14 October 2022.

Visit the Kickstart 101 page for more information and to start your application:

Kickstart your life at university

Back to top