The Beijing Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (BOCOG) has invited communication students at the University of Newcastle to work with the international media contingent at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The University is the only one in New South Wales selected to send communication students to work on a voluntary basis at the Olympics. Their role will be to interview competitors.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nicholas Saunders, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with BOCOG to secure the arrangement.
"This year the University has increased its focus on building relationships with key organisations in China and today's announcement is a direct result of that," he said.
"Our partner university in China, the Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), has been instrumental in helping us to this outcome. It will train our students prior to the Olympics and host them during the Games."
"I would like to thank BFSU and BOCOG for providing this outstanding opportunity for our students."
Paul Scott, journalism lecturer at the University of Newcastle, said 30 positions were available for communication students in the School of Design, Communication and IT in the Faculty of Science and IT.
"We are inviting all current first and second year students enrolled in the Bachelor of Communication to submit expressions of interest for the positions," he said.
"Ten of the 30 students selected to work at the Olympics will stay on after the Games to also work in similar roles at the Paralympics."
Mr Scott said the students were privileged to have the opportunity to be part of the largest and most prestigious sporting event in the world."Only selected universities across the world, including the esteemed Columbia University in New York, have been invited to participate and Newcastle is very privileged to be included."
"It will be an amazing experience for students to be involved in the media operations of such a huge event, in a country so different to Australia."
"We are working to put in place arrangements that recognise the work of students in Beijing and give them credit towards their degree."
The University will pay for students' return airfares from Sydney to Beijing, and provide assistance with accommodation and food.
The Olympics will be held from August 8 to 21, 2008 and the Paralympics from September 6 to 17, 2008.