Students recognised for Welcome Desk service

Media release | 29 November 2017

The NSW Government’s international student support organisation, StudyNSW, has celebrated the volunteering efforts of students on the International Student Welcome Desk at Sydney Airport at a ceremony at NSW Parliament House.

The International Student Welcome Desk is staffed by local and international student volunteers through a ‘work integrated learning program’ with StudyNSW and since the desk was launched in 2015, over 500 students have trained to participate with more than 50 training to take on team leader roles.

Parliamentary Secretary Ben Franklin MLC said volunteering students each provided 20 hours of service greeting students, offering orientation advice and distributing guides.

“The NSW Government greatly appreciates the tremendous service our student volunteers provide at the International Student Welcome Desk by offering friendly greetings and useful information to ensure a ‘soft landing’ for international students.

“We have more than 260,000 international student enrolments in NSW making our state Australia’s most popular education destination.

“Sydney Airport has international students arriving to study here from more than 150 countries so this volunteer service is invaluable in helping ensure NSW makes a solid first impression as a friendly and supportive study destination.”

Mr Franklin said the program is designed to ensure students feel welcome the moment they step off the plane and that they receive information needed on arrival.

“I congratulate the welcome desk volunteers on their dedication, teamwork and customer service skills that will serve them well in their future careers.

“Our international student enrolments continue to grow by over 10% a year, reaching a record high of 267,940 enrolments in 2016, demonstrating the strength of our education sector.”

Kritika Joon, a 24-year-old student from India, said welcome desk volunteering helped her secure an International Student Representative role at the University of Sydney.

"It was fantastic to meet all the wonderful travellers including students and see their excited faces as they first arrived in Australia.”

The program is supported by the NSW Government as well as Sydney Airport, our education institutions, the NSW Department of Education and Destination NSW.

Download the media release

International students at the ceremony