This Friday at Town Hall we will be thanking our departing International Student Leadership and Ambassador (ISLA) participants and welcoming a new intake.
The ISLA program helps international students settle in and learn about local culture by breaking down language barriers and social isolation. The 40 students finishing their service started in 2013 when the City first trialled the program, which went on to win first prize at last year's NSW International Student Awards.
The Ambassadors bring to their role an understanding of the issues that face new international students when they arrive in Sydney and their network of other international and local students, as well as their cultural understanding and language skills. Some of the events the Ambassadors helped the City execute include:
- The first international student float in the Chinese New Year parade;
- My International Student Reception;
- 2014 Living in Harmony festival;
- My Study, My Career international student forum; and
- Youth Week in the City.
Sydney attracts people from many cultures to live, work and more than ever, to study. Sydney is the most popular city in the world for international students according to global rankings, with over 50,000 studying at universities in our city.
We are delighted that these students choose to study here and make up an important part of our global talent hub. By making their time as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible we not only maintain our excellent reputation so that international students keep coming, we build the foundations of a life-long connection with our City.
Our priorities are to international students feel welcome, to watch out for their well-being and to give them opportunities to practise what they have learned in the classroom.
I thank the 2013/14 International Student Leadership and Ambassador participants and look forward to working with our new intake to create a wonderful experience for our international student community.