New program gives an Adelaide experience
International students will soon be able to connect more closely with Adelaide's way of life thanks to a new program involving our alumni.
Experience Adelaide is being launched in March 2014 with the aim of connecting all international students at the University of Adelaide with a local family and its activities.
Project manager Annette Wheatley says the interaction will come in many forms, with the ultimate aim of making their time in a new country that little bit easier.
"It could be something as simple as including the student in a family meal, or going on a sightseeing tour," she says.
Annette says the program will provide students and alumni with a genuine cultural exchange with the aim to foster longer-term friendships.
Professor Warren Bebbington, Vice Chancellor and President said: "Many years ago now when I was a young Fulbright Scholar in New York City, I was paired with a local family who invited me into their home to experience America.
"Those occasional visits to their family home for a cup of tea and a Thanksgiving dinner connected me to the US and left lasting ties I maintain today."
Over the years, many alumni have connected with international students and the experience has been mutually beneficial.
Kirsty Burns has been welcoming students since graduating with a Social Science degree in 2006.
"Interacting with international students is good for them and for us," says Kirsty. "A familiar face and a friendly person is what they want most.
"It makes me appreciate what I have. I am proud of this country, city and University, and I'm quite passionate about it."
June, a Master of Finance and Accounting student from China, is among the overseas students to receive a friendly welcome from Kirsty. She says having someone in Adelaide to help her adjust to a new culture was invaluable.
"This experience made me feel like I have another family in Australia, which is important for an international student."
story by Ben Osborne
If you would like to be a part of this exciting new program then please complete the Registration Form located at www.alumni.adelaide.edu.au/experienceadelaide or contact the Program Manager Annette Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +61 8 8313 2284.
Further information will be available at an Information Session to be held at the University of Adelaide in February 2014.
Kirsty and June
Photo by Ben Osborne