The University of Newcastle, Australia

Community Connections

The Community Connections Program is a cross cultural friendship program through which volunteers from the local community link with international students from all levels of study.

International students join this program to meet people from the community and to broaden their Australian friendships. The program allows students to learn more about Australian culture and customs, while sharing information about their home country with others. International, Undergraduate, Study Abroad and Exchange, Postgraduate and Postgraduate Research Higher Degree students are all welcome to join the program.

After the initial meeting, both the student and volunteer will decide how often they will meet, where they will meet and what they will do together. Some volunteers and students like to share common interests such as going to the movies together, having coffee or playing sports together. Other volunteers like to include their students in family gatherings such as birthday parties and other social events.

People of all ages and walks of life join the program as volunteers. You will be able to provide a profile of the person (common interests, age, marital status etc.) you would like to meet when you attend the interview with the coordinator. Please note that you will be linked with a person of the same gender.

How do i join

  1. Complete the online registration survey
  2. Review the online Training Manual
  3. Undertake training, either face to face or online


If you are interested in volunteering in the Community Connections program and being matched with an International Student, please complete this on-line survey.

If you are an International Student interested in being matched with a volunteer in the Community Connections program, please complete this on-line survey.

Training Manual

Click here to read the Community Connections Training Manual which will give you further information on the program and the many benefits of participating.


There are two training options, face to face or online.

Face to Face training occurs fortnightly at the International Office. To register for face to face training please click here.

Online training will take approximately 20 minutes and can be completed by clicking on the appropriate training module link below.

International Student, please complete this on-line training module.

Volunteers, please complete this on-line training module.

See the Get Involved page for more information on programs and activities.