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International students bring cultural enrichment to the region

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Words
Jane Munro
Published
11 February 2011
Southern Cross University will be welcoming around 230 new international students in 2011 with many of those attending welcome events to be held at the Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast campuses on Monday, February 14.

Director of the International Office at Southern Cross University, Jo Asquith, said the arrival of the international students was an exciting time on the University calendar as they brought an enriching cultural diversity to the University and its broader communities.

“In addition to the obvious economic benefits the iInternational students bring to our regions, especially given two thirds of their budget is spent on non-tuition purchases, they also become a wonderful resource for local students to improve cultural understanding and international linkages. The need for global citizens who have those international insights and understandings is particularly important in today’s world,” Ms Asquith said.

“With the links the University has established internationally there are also increasing opportunities for local students to have a reciprocal experience through the student exchange program. The cultural exchange of ideas plays an important part in our internationalisation strategy.

Ms Asquith said most international students chose to study at Southern Cross University because they were attracted to the quality of education being offered and the opportunity to live and study in vibrant coastal communities.

“Students coming to these non-metropolitan centres have a greater opportunity to interact with the local communities. This is important for improving their language skills if they are from non-English speaking backgrounds.

"The feedback we get is that because we are a smaller University the students receive: a more personal experience; greater support than they might get elsewhere; and also build long-term friendships with both Australian and other international students.

“In terms of study preferences with this year’s enrolments, business courses remain the most popular however we have students enrolling across the full range of discipline areas. Our postgraduate subject areas, such as forestry, education, public health, marine science and management and tourism have all attracted enrolments.

“We have students coming from Bangladesh, China, Canada, Japan, Norway, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Saudia Arabia and the list goes on. These students bring an exciting cultural diversity to our regions and we are looking forward to giving them a warm welcome to Southern Cross University and to the region.”

The welcome events will be held on Monday, February 14. A smoking ceremony will be held at the Lismore campus in the Community Garden between 12pm and 1pm; a barbeque will be provided at the Coffs Harbour campus by Rotary in the Sacred Garden between 1pm and 2pm; and a welcome morning tea will be provided by CoastRs in the courtyard of the Gold Coast campus.

For more information about international study at Southern Cross University contact the International Office on 02 66 203876 or go to www.scu.edu.au/international.

Media are warmly invited to attend. Photo: International scholarship students from Vietnam being shown around the Southern Cross University grounds at the Lismore campus. L-R: Emily Suffolk from the International Office and students Nguyen Thi Hai Tra, Tuan Hung Nguyen and Dang Phuong Thao.

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