The start of every new Deakin University trimester brings with it hundreds of new students from around the world. For many, this is the first time they have ever set foot on campus – and perhaps one of their first days in Australia.
Deakin’s International Student Welcome program is designed to give every new student the best introduction to life at Deakin. This week, students starting in Trimester 1 enjoyed campus tours, a Community Fair, welcome events and a range of other activities to help them connect with their new community in a fun and engaging way.
Upon arrival, it is hard to miss the Orientation Ambassadors everywhere wearing bright pink T-shirts, eager to help however they can. These ambassadors are all student volunteers committed to providing a warm welcome to the University.
Orientation Ambassadors Shreyas, Prasad and Kaustubh all said their reason for volunteering in this role was simple – when they started at Deakin, student volunteers helped to make them feel at home.
“As soon as I came I met with Orientation Ambassadors, so I got inspired by them – seeing how they work and how they show around the campus. I wanted to give back to the community where I have learned,” said Shreyas.
New student Ly, from Vietnam, said that she had originally chosen to study at Deakin because of its reputation as a friendly place with high student satisfaction.
“Everyone is really friendly, I’ve never seen a more friendly society. I really liked everyone just coming up to us and asking if we needed help. They’re really, really active and I really enjoyed that.”
Jo Cook, Deakin’s Manager of Student Engagement and Retention, says that many new international students are both nervous and excited to start their study at Deakin. The International Student Welcome is the best opportunity to provide everyone with the information they need to know, but more importantly, to help them develop new connections with other students, staff and the wider Deakin community.
“The number of students that are seeing the value in it, that’s really exciting to see. Today it looks like we’ve got about 1300 students that are here. Today is about them. Today is one of the most important days, for them to connect with other students, to get to know all the services,” says Jo.
Mark and his friends from the Philippines chose to study at Deakin because of the University’s global reputation for nursing. They shared their excitement at what they have experienced so far.
“The staff here are very accommodating, they have shown us where to go, what to do if we have some problems. Anything that we need, everything has been catered for in the school. It’s really amazing,” said Mark.
The Community Fair includes stalls and activities hosted by Deakin services such as the Community Bank, student groups and organisations from the wider community. Students who attend get a free lunch and are encouraged to collect stamps for each stall they engage with, with a prize giveaway for those who complete their stamp card.
New student Phan has come from Vietnam to study a Bachelor of Nutrition Science/ Bachelor of Commerce. She said that playing the games, collecting the stamps and learning about the different student clubs was a highlight of her day.
“It is very helpful. When I look at all of these people I feel excited. Nervous, but more excited. I hope that I will make many new friends here, and learn about the culture,” Phan said.
For further information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.