First Year Students’ Perceptions in Transition to University: The Students’ Experience

  • Montse Freixa-Niella Universitat de Barcelona
  • Immaculada Dorio-Alcaraz Universitat de Barcelona
  • Franciele Corti Universitat de Barcelona
Keywords: transition to university, academic adaptation, persistence, higher education, university students


Studies about the transition to university emphasise the importance of the process of adaptation in the first year as a determining persistence factor. This article presents the results of the focus groups held with students of two undergraduate degree programmes, Pedagogy and Business Management and Administration, at the Universityof Barcelona(Catalonia, Spain) that dealt with the more significant situations they experienced in the process of adapting to life at university. The results are based on the five main tasks in the process of transition to university: starting and developing new social relationships; adjusting expectations about the university and degree programme; adapting to new academic codes at university; coping with academic/exam results; and construction of the university identity. These five tasks are identified in three moments in the initial period of adaptation. This study forms part of a Research+Development project.


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How to Cite
Freixa-Niella, M., Dorio-Alcaraz, I., & Corti, F. (2019). First Year Students’ Perceptions in Transition to University: The Students’ Experience. Multidisciplinary Journal of School Education, 16(2). Retrieved from