ViStA Project

ViStA Project: A Virtual World Orientation for Overseas Students

While starting life in a new university may be an exciting prospect for many students, it may also be an anxiety-provoking one. Students face many adjustment challenges and success in meeting these challenges may impact on students’ subsequent academic achievement. This project aims to provide students with an online orientation to the University prior to their arrival in St Andrews, with a view to easing their transition into life and studies in their new institution and to triggering the acculturation process before they have left home, thus creating a bridge between pre-University and University lives.

Drawing on the potential of virtual worlds to provide an information-rich environment, ViStA will recreate in detail much of the area around North Street, thereby allowing students to explore key parts of the town and University and to access information relevant to their future life in St Andrews. Through a series of structured in-world activities, students will not only build their understanding of the University, but will also develop a sense of belonging to the University community.

Acknowledgements
The ViStA Project is funded by the Higher Education Academy.
Concept and Co-ordination
Janie Brooks, IELSS Co-ordinator, English Language Teaching and Ishbel Duncan, Lecturer, Computer Science
Creation & Design, Sarah Kennedy
Student Contribution, Yaning Du