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Ms. Patricia Anderson (email)
International Student Centre
Business: +61 8 8303 6398
Mobile: 0414 391 568
Mr David Ellis (email)
Media and Communications Officer
Marketing & Communications
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 421 612 762
Wednesday, 13 December 2006
The University of Adelaide has won a national award for helping international students settle into life and study in Australia, cementing the city's reputation as a quality destination for foreign students.
The University's Peer Mentor Program, offered to new international students each semester, has been judged the best in the country by a student panel at the 17th ISANA International Education Conference in Sydney.
Up to 45 students volunteer their time to host campus tours, map reading guides, information sessions and after-hours social events for the incoming international students.
The International Student Centre Manager, Patricia Anderson, says the Peer Mentor Program is a key factor in helping students to understand the university environment and adapt to a new lifestyle in Adelaide.
"We run one of the most extensive orientation programs in the country for new international students. The Peer Mentor Program is so popular that we have 200 applications each year from students to volunteer as peer mentors, yet only need to fill a quarter of those places.
"The mentors also get a lot from their participation in the program, including leadership skills and the opportunity to work collaboratively as a team."
Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor John Taplin stressed the importance of the first few days and weeks after an international student arrives in Adelaide to their longer-term impressions of the University and the city.
"Through the Peer Mentor Program these new students receive support from a very early stage from fellow students who understand what they are going through. For many international students this is their first experience of living away from home, let alone living in a foreign country.
"Satisfied students will eventually become satisfied graduates and promote the advantages of the University to others, wherever they may be around the world," he said.