International students welcomed at the University of Newcastle
Accepting an offer to study at the University of Newcastle was an easy decision for international student Ruvimbo Vusango, who made the trip from Zimbabwe four years ago.
Enticed by the beaches, friendly people and size of the city, Miss Vusango has embraced Newcastle life while carrying out her Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours)
She was just one of a handful of presenters who greeted about 400 students at the University’s International Student Welcome Day on Monday.
Students listened to a range of speakers, enjoyed a barbecue lunch and took part in sports offered at Callaghan campus.
Miss Vusango shared her story on how she came to study at the University of Newcastle and her role as an International Engagement Assistant at the University.
“In the University’s Global team, we give international students all the information they need to help them integrate and enjoy student life here,” she said.
Miss Vusango is also a volunteer with the University’s Police Ambassador Program, engaging with her peers to help spread the word about the role of police in Australia.
“The program is there to help break down any barriers between police and the international students,” she said.
Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President Professor Kevin Hall said the University welcomed 639 students into the Newcastle region across all programs this semester.
This semester students have come from 45 countries across the world, with 260 undergraduates, 91 postgraduates and 214 on study abroad or exchange programs.
“Today the students learnt about the range of support and extracurricular opportunities offered by the University, as well as the opportunities they have to engage with Newcastle as a city,” he said.
“It’s encouraging to see so many of them out exploring what we have to offer as one of the top ten ranking universities in the country.”
Twenty-year-old US student Meghan Wanttaja, from Dallas, Texas decided to study at the University of Newcastle after travelling to Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay last year.
She said her travelling experiences helped her make a decision on where she wanted to study.
“I wanted to study in Newcastle because it’s a city with the best of both worlds,” she said.
“All the travelling helped guide me to where I’d best fit in – not just somewhere where I’d come and take classes but somewhere that has more of a community feel.”