GALLERY: O-Week kicks off at UOW

From a sword-swallowing Space Cowboy to a Hawaiian-themed pool party – the University of Wollongong’s O-Week includes plenty of thrills and spills.

Thousands of new and returning students will flock to the university’s main campus this week for the events that kicked off yesterday and will finish up tomorrow night with the ever popular O-Party at the UniBar.

Kayla Berry, of the Centre for Student Engagement, said each day would start with faculty orientation sessions from 9am, before the festival kicked off from midday to 3pm on the Duck Pond Lawn.

‘‘O-Week is about welcoming new students and returning students for the academic year and giving them a taste of student life on campus,’’ she said.

‘‘The University of Wollongong has such a great atmosphere and such a welcoming environment, and this is a way of making students feel comfortable here and getting them involved.’’

There’ll be plenty of free food, music and entertainment and stalls showcasing the university’s clubs and societies, corporate sponsors and student services.

Plus there’s a few specialty events such as the pool party at the recreation centre, which attracted hundreds of students yesterday. 

Today’s WOW Wednesday is another feature event and will include contortionist Bendy Em, a robotic dancer Pyscho Sam and renowned Byron Bay extreme entertainer Space Cowboy.

‘‘He holds 20 Guinness world records and does everything from chainsaw juggling to sword swallowing,’’ Ms Berry said. 

Meanwhile, Triple-J favourites The Delta Riggs will be the headline act at this year’s O-Party at the UniBar from 7.30pm tomorrow.

UOW academic registrar Megan Huisman said there had been a slight increase in new enrolments this year, with 4000 students starting to study in 2013. 

The number of international students had also increased, by 9per cent.

‘‘O-Week allows all students to make contact with their fellow students in their faculty or course, as well as take part in various social activities,’’ Ms Huisman said.

‘‘We encourage students to join a club or society as these are an integral part of the university experience and a way to enhance it.  O-Week is about setting up those first connections which 

form an important part of a student’s support network at university,’’ she said.

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