International students are being made to feel particularly welcome in Waikato this year, thanks to Ministry of Education funding secured by a partnership of the Hamilton City Council, University of Waikato, Wintec and Waikato District Police.
The highlight of this year’s programme of events, funded as part of the International Student Wellbeing Strategy, is a city-wide International Week, taking place from 17 – 21 September.
Hamilton Mayor Andrew King supports the events. “International students are an important contributor to Hamilton’s community and economy,” he says. “Our tertiary institutions offer them an excellent education and an enjoyable experience, and it’s important we make Hamilton a ‘home away from home’ for them.
“Hosting a series of events in this way sends international students a strong and welcoming signal – that we appreciate their choice of Hamilton as a place to learn, and we want them to feel part of our community while they are here with us.”
Hamilton City Council will launch the event on Monday with a formal, invite-only reception for international students, stakeholders and community leaders, to celebrate the contribution the students make to the region. International Student Ambassadors will be acknowledged by the City for their contribution to the community.
On Tuesday, the University of Waikato will launch the Latin American & Spain Film Festival, and Wednesday will see a full programme of activities on campus with the University of Waikato International Day. Featuring ethnic food; cultural arts, crafts and performances; a national dress parade; and the Holi colour fest, the Day celebrates the cultural diversity of the University community. Staff, international and domestic students, and members of the community are all welcome to attend.
“Our tertiary institutions offer them an excellent education and an enjoyable experience, and it’s important we make Hamilton a ‘home away from home’ for them.”
Wintec takes up the celebration on Thursday, with the Wintec Culture Fest, Wintec International’s largest event of the year. Taking place at the City Campus, this popular annual evening event incorporates food, performances, competitions and prizes. Open to students, staff and the community, there will be plenty for everyone to enjoy.
The final event, on Friday, is a special, international-themed team up with the popular Gourmet Garage at Claudelands. Featuring a variety of food and entertainment, our international students and friends will be able to relax and enjoy a selection of food after a busy week.
This collaboration is the first of its kind between the four Hamilton organisations. The programme of events has a strong regional focus and the final event will be a large-scale Noho Marae, planned for later in the year.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy was launched in June 2017 and aims to better support international students in New Zealand.