The University of Sydney currently teaches more than 10,000 International Students from 152 countries over the world. International Students make up a large and continuously growing part of the University’s student body, and there are many opportunities on Campus specifically designed for them to facilitate their integration into Australian University life and to engage with its community.
International Students, by virtue of being “foreign” to Australia and without deep attachments or supporting networks, are particularly dependent on their Australian Universities as well as on their student communities to support them and represent their interests. However, past years have demonstrated a lack in awareness – and consequently a lack of representation – of the challenges faced by International Students.The International Students Officers are elected to ensure that this will change, and that the International Student community is adequately supported, represented and placed in the public eye by working with the SRC and the wider university. In particular, our goal for 2016 is that the wide range of SRC services (such as emergency financial support, legal representation, support in academic appeals, accommodation issues and against discrimination) are made widely known amongst International Students. Moreover, we seek to improve the information on housing available to International Students, as well as to further enhance the accommodation opportunities provided by the University. We also will try to increase awareness about available services surrounding academic support, as it is often challenging to adapt to teaching methods, academic procedures and assessment standards in a new country, especially if you are a non-native English speaker.
The International Students Collective will play a crucial role in achieving these goals, and serves as a space for International Students to discuss which steps need to be taken to not only ensure that the University of Sydney creates a welcoming environment for non-domestic students, but also to improve the current living circumstances of all International Students in Australia (for instance through the introduction of the long-overdue travel concession).Furthermore, we plan to engage with a wide range of already existing groups and institutions on campus that reach out to International Students, such as the International Office and those Clubs and Societies representing different national cultures.
It is important for us to ensure that these improvements not only benefit International Students, but also the larger University community. Despite the large numbers of International Students on campus, there still is a noticeable divide between “domestic” and “international”. As International Students Officers, we want to take an active stance to improve the engagement of students from all different backgrounds in order to combat prevailing prejudices and stereotypes.
All International Students are wholeheartedly encouraged to contact us via the email address, by searching for the Facebook Group indicated below or by attending the meetings of the International Students Collective (Wednesdays at 5pm, venue to be announced in the Facebook Group). We are beyond excited to be your International Students Representatives for the year 2016 and hope to get to know you soon!
If you want more information or have any questions, please contact:
Or find us on Facebook: “USyd International Students Collective”