Wollongong international students awarded for volunteering

Media release | 26 May 2017

University of Wollongong international students were among nearly eighty students recognised by NSW Trade and Industry Minister Niall Blair today for their contributions to the International Student Welcome Desk at Sydney Airport.

The students were presented with certificates for completing a 20-hour work integrated learning program through StudyNSW at Sydney Airport.

Mr Blair says the program is a valuable initiative for the State’s international students.

“The International Student Welcome Desk at Sydney Airport is often the first experience international students have in NSW and Australia so it’s really important for us to make sure that experience is a good one,” Mr Blair said

“With more than 300,000 international student enrolments expected across NSW this year, it’s fantastic to see existing international students taking the opportunity to make their fellow students feel at home once they arrive.

“This is also really valuable work experience for the students already here, helping them to immerse themselves in life in NSW. They get to meet new people and develop the skills that will make them more employable during their time here.”

Since the NSW Government established the Welcome Desk in 2015, more than 450 students have volunteered. The desk has managed over 10,000 interactions with newly arrived international students and other visitors, since its inception.

Andrew Pratama, from Indonesia, is one of two University of Wollongong students who received awards today. He says volunteering at the desk has been a fantastic experience, and Andrew has since been employed by the university as a student orientation adviser.

"I love to connect with people from different parts of the world and I knew the airport would be the best place to do that. When this opportunity arose, I signed up without a second thought, and it has been a tremendous experience for me to be part of the crew at the desk,” Mr Pratama said.

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StudyNSW Acknowledgement Ceremony

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Minister Blair and Andrew Pratama at the StudyNSW acknowledgement ceremony

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Minister Blair and Andrew Pratama taking a selfie

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