Was mach ich hier eigentlich? An der Uni ankommen!
Was mach ich hier eigentlich? An der Uni ankommen!
Was mach ich hier eigentlich? An der Uni ankommen!

Was mach ich hier eigentlich? An der Uni ankommen!

University of Vienna

Birgit Peterson & Frano Petar Rismondo


Duration 4 units
Unit 3 hours/unit
Licence CC BY-SA 4.0
Participants 731
Availability Unlimited
Start Date 15 September 2022
Costs € 0.00

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General Course Information

#Orientierung #Studium #Studienanfang #Organisation #Lernen #Student*insein

You have decided to commence studying at a university and you are starting your first semester as a student. With that said, you are rising to the challenge of the introductory and orientation period (StEOP); you are getting to know your university and your study programme; for the first time, you are engaging with new content, topics and questions in an academic manner. Occasionally, you might ask yourself What am I actually doing here? What will it really be like in my study programme? What will be expected of me? How do I tackle these learning and studying challenges? Was it the right choice of studies? How do I accomplish a successful start into my studies? Asking all of these questions at the beginning of your studies – and thereafter – is important for keeping up motivation and managing university studies as early as in the first semester. This MOOC provides responses and first-hand experiences by teachers and students as well as suggestions for successfully shaping your own entry point into university studies.

The contents of this MOOC are purposefully generic and should be of value to as many study programmes as possible. This is the reason why you will rarely find particular details or guidelines, but rather questions for reflection and indications towards where and how to find relevant information and answers for your situation or whom you can contact.


Course Content

This course consists of four lessons, which aim at facilitating the beginning of your studies and the journey through your first semester at university. During the four lessons, you will reflect on your understanding of yourself as a student as well as what it means to study at university, what you can expect and what is expected of you. You will learn about useful strategies and approaches to deal with the StEOP and upcoming courses.

Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3
Lesson 4
Arrival at university: Being a student
The first semester: introductory and orientation period (StEOP) Learn to study: How do we study in the discipline Study successfully: Passing exams and kick-off your studies

A new role: Being a student!

Entering the world of academia at university

Introductory and orientation period: benefits and expectations

Surprises and challenges during the first semester at university

Learning at the University - Organising your own learning processes

Develop new strategies

Passing exams and finishing the first semester

Starting with the actual studies and planning the study progression

Course Goals

This course can accompany you to successfully enter your studies at university and support you in arriving in your studies. After completing this course you …

  • have a better understanding of what it means to study at university based on personal insights.
  • know what to expect from an “introductory and orientation period“ and what is expected of you in the first semester at university.
  • have learned about learning strategies and approaches for successful studies at university.
  • know what helps and motivates you to pass exams successfully and plan the further study progression in your studies.

Previous Knowledge

No specific prior knowledge required for this course. You will benefit the most from this MOOC, if you complete it during the beginning of your studies.

Course Procedure

The four lessons of this course aim at offering assistance and support, so that you successfully enter the world of academia and specifically succeed during the first semester, including the StEOP. The individual lessons build upon each other, however, they can also be completed independently of one another. The focus is on insights by teachers and experiences by students in order to get a clearer picture of the expectations during the first semester and to compare this picture with your own expectations. Each lesson has many videos and corresponding exercises and tasks. This MOOC lasts for four weeks, with one lesson published each week. Afterwards, this course is still available to give you incentives “to study” your discipline-specific and individual path, to try out ideas and to professionalize, so that you will pass the first semester and come to be motivated in your studies at university.

Lesson 1 starts with the arrival in the world of academia: What are the characteristics of higher education studies? How do you successfully assume the role of a student? What is the difference between  university and school?

Lesson 2 deals with the StEOP, the introductory and orientation period: What is it? Which surprises and challenges can you expect during the first semester at university? What do teachers of the StEOP expect from you?

Lesson 3 is about studying itself: How do you organise your own learning processes and which new strategies are useful, for what? In this lesson, we want to introduce you to particularly promising strategies, in order to find out important aspects to successfully manage the first semester.

Finally, lesson 4 is all about passing the StEOP-exams and deciding, whether and how you want to further progress in your studies. We will explore the issue of dealing with failure during studies and further planning of the study progression.

You can expect a workload of 2-3 hours/week or lesson (max. 12 hours total).


This work is licensed under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

Course Instructor

Birgit Peterson & Frano Petar Rismondo
Birgit Peterson & Frano Petar Rismondo

Mag.a Birgit Peterson is a human biologist and cognitive scientist focused on study entrance at university for the past 10 years, including related topics such as academic research, learning, reading and writing. She conceptualized and accompanied the StEOP-mentoring programme at the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL), University of Vienna, in 2010. Between 2019 and 2021 she was part of the team Student Research and Peer-Learning (Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten und Peer-Learning). Since 2006, she is a certified trainer for academic and creative writing and reading. She has been deepening her knowledge on nonviolent communication by Marshall Rosenberg since 2017. Birgit Peterson is the author of several books on study entrance and on her key topics “learning and teaching” and “reading and writing”. She works as a freelance lecturer, project consultant, and trainer, especially at universities, universities of applied sciences and university colleges of teacher education.

Frano Petar Rismondo, MA is a higher education professional with an background in political science and writing didactics. He works for the Center or Teaching and Learning in different roles since 2015 and since 2021 he coordinates the StEOP-mentoring programme as well as the Student Research Hub at the University of Vienna. He is part of the team Student Research and Peer-Learning (Wissenschaftliches Arbeiten und Peer-Learning) and also teaches student research courses at the Departement of Political Science in Vienna as well at the Master Programme Innovation and Management in Tourism at the FH Salzburg. He focuses on learning and writing didactics as well as on the personal epistemological developement of students and novice academic writers.


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University of Vienna

University of Vienna


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