Close to 1,000 students from more than 60 nations gathered at Sydney Town Hall to be welcomed to their new home by lifesavers, firefighters, police and members of the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
The Sydney Lord Mayor’s welcome for international students brings together 20 community groups, health and safety services and Sydney’s leading tertiary education institutions to provide information on support and services.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the reception acknowledges the important contribution international students make through their lifelong connections to Sydney.
“The international student market contributes more than $1.6 billion to the local economy and generates demand for more than 10,000 fulltime jobs,” the Lord Mayor said.
“These students add so much to Sydney’s cultural life and they help build our reputation internationally as a centre for learning, research and innovation.
“We host this annual event to encourage international students to get involved in the cultural life of our city, to promote safety and wellbeing, and to open doors for the support, services and connections that will help them settle into their new life here in Sydney.”
The Lord Mayor also announced a new international student competition that will give six winners a package of Sydney experiences to help them explore the city. The prize includes a behind the scenes tour of Sydney Opera House, a personalised beach tour with Surf Life Saving NSW and a cycle tour of the city.
“It’s a chance to showcase our beautiful city to these new residents, who will promote all that Sydney has to offer to their friends and families around the world,” the Lord Mayor said.
Febe Amelia Haryanto is from Indonesia and studying a master of commerce at the University of New South Wales. Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s welcome, she encouraged her fellow students to seize opportunities while living in Sydney.
“Sydney is a multicultural society that gives you exposure to different point of view, quality learning experiences and so many cultural festivals and events that have all enriched my knowledge,” Ms Haryanto said.
“These international students have been brave enough to step out of their comfort zone to leave home and study abroad. I really encourage them to stay brave and make the most of it while they are here in Sydney.
“This reception is an important step in their new life because it makes them feel that they’re not alone and can use the opportunity to connect and make new friends,” Ms Haryanto added.
Inner Sydney is host to more international students than any other area in Australia, with more than 35,000 international students studying in the City’s local area.
The City’s first international education action plan is now on public exhibition. It provides a framework for the City’s support for the international education sector over the next 10 years, and includes programs and funding to welcome students to Sydney, promote health and wellbeing services and increase their employability.
The International Student Experience Competition is open to all international students living and studying in Sydney. The competition is now open and entries close on Friday 6 April 2018:
Feedback on the City’s international education action plan is welcomed on Sydney Your Say: sydneyyoursay.com.au/international-education-action-plan
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