International Potluck 0

My role as a part time officer for the Student’s Union has been such an awesome and eyeopening experience. My role is to represent international students on campus and therefore I’m heavily involved with the International Office at UWTSD. To be honest, I got involved with the International Office pretty early on, as an international buddy, welcoming study abroad students who came to study for the semester or year.

It’s been awesome getting really involved, and helping students integrate into student life here, showing them around campus and town, and accompanying them on awesome cultural trips throughout the UK, (which is all organised by the international office). The other bonus is that each semester you pretty much make another batch of friends for life. There’s something about studying abroad that throws you out of your comfort zone and forces you to approach friendships in a more honest and appreciative way. As a South African in Wales, I totally understand this, and really bond with the students once they’ve arrived.

While the study abroad students all branch out and make friends throughout campus, that special international community is always something that is encouraged. So throughout the year events are hosted by the university and buddies, and even students, to support and celebrate the special bonds international students make. This month so far we’ve already had an international potluck, where students bring traditional food from their home countries and share. Organised by the international office and two of our Swedish study abroad students, the night really highlighted the awesome bonds people can make, no matter where you’re from. I would encourage any students that are thinking about volunteering to be an international buddy to definitely do it! It’s an awesome experience 🙂

Karin, on exchange from Sweden for the semester said of her experience so far:

We didn’t realise we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun!