The University of Wollongong will hold its tenth ‘Welcome to Wollongong’ at the University Hall tomorrow night. The welcome evening has taken four months to organise, and coordinators expect 400 community members and students to attend.
Hosted in partnership with Wollongong City Council, the event is designed to make international students feel welcome at university, and in the region.
Centre for Student Engagement and Event Coordinator and Manager Andrea Kornhoff said Welcome to Wollongong is a major first step for international students.
“It is important to acknowledge they bring a lot of contributions to the university and to the city which are long term. Many of them may seek to stay. We are educating them and developing people with great skills. We want to keep them in the area.” Ms Kornhoff said.
The event will honour different cultures, and attendees will take part in a ‘country of origin’ parade. Cultural performances by Illawarra flame tree; young Indigenous dancers, the Indonesian student society, an Indian singer and a Vietnamese singer and band will be showcased.
“What I particularly like about this event is that it is an inclusive event. We see a lot of families come with their children and we see a lot of students bring their home-stay families along,” Ms Kornhoff said.
The event has again been booked to capacity, and Ms Kornoff said the time may have arrived to take it into the city.
“I feel it has grown as much as it can here at campus.” Kornhoff said.
Staff plan to discuss potential future event locations with Wollongong City Council.