New and returning international students have been warmly welcomed by the International Student Welcome Centre activation.
Based in the Commerce Courtyard and the foyer of the Central Lecture Block (CLB), the pop-up International Student Welcome Centre saw almost 4,000 international students through the space during T2 O-Week and Week 1. 954 of these were new students starting in T2, and 1,498 had started their degree offshore and this was the first time they had come to Australia.
International students were able to connect with a cultural mentor who took them through an ‘arrivals checklist’ to ensure the students felt well prepared to start the term. The centre was also a meeting place for library tours and a space to speak with Medibank about health insurance. It was great to see friendships forming while students explored the space and sat together to eat a free breakfast or to participate in activities run by Arc’s boardgame society and Culture Café. In addition, throughout week 2 the UNSW Health Promotions Team ran free blood pressure testing for the students.
The Centre also gave away around 2,500 UNSW hoodies to international students. Those who had begun their degree offshore mentioned that the hoodie helped them to feel proud to finally be onshore and a UNSW student, contributing to a sense of belonging.
"I loved seeing how excited students were to start their new journey at UNSW. Being able to give back to that energy is a truly rewarding experience” said Kenny Ng, Cultural Mentor and Welcome Centre Supervisor.
"We are thrilled to see the return of our international student community! The International Student Welcome Centre is a rolling activation that aims to provide orientation and onboarding support to students who arrive outside O-Week and are looking to connect with UNSW’s various support services and meet likeminded students through our Cultural Mentors program” said Natalie Nickson, Head of Student Life.
The International Student Welcome Centre will return for Term 3.