2016 WA International Education Program of the Year
2016 WINNER: ConnectMe@UWA Program, The University of Western Australia
The winning ConnectMe@UWA program provides comprehensive transition support to commencing international students by matching them, before they even leave home, with a current student mentor to answer questions and give advice about life in Perth, as a UWA student. Upon arrival in Perth, commencing students are met at the airport by mentors and UWA staff. During Orientation Week and throughout the first few weeks of semester, new students have the opportunity to participate in excursions and social events with their mentor to facilitate friendships and networking. Our mentor cohort consists of students from diverse domestic and international backgrounds and circumstances. The mentors provide ongoing support through the transitional period, often for the entire first year.
“Many weeks before Orientation begun, she already contacted me and advised me of the areas I should be looking into for my stay at UWA. On the first day of my arrival, she came to college to pick me up personally and brought me around the area to purchase necessities. This helped me greatly in settling down”
Since 2011, almost 3000 commencing international students have participated in the ConnectMe@UWA program. Their feedback and that of their mentors, has informed the growth and evolution of this innovative project, which promotes vital early connections between students and the University and contributes to the welfare of the University’s growing cohort of international students.