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International students introduced to Kiwi ways

17 February 2006

For immediate release

International students introduced to Kiwi ways

Touch rugby is on the horizon for international students about to start at The University of Auckland.

They will be shown how to play touch as part of a busy week of orientation activities starting next Monday 20 February.

Also planned is an information session on enjoying New Zealand's outdoors, a quiz night to test their knowledge of this country, a pub night where they dress up in national costume, and a day trip to Rangitoto.

"We want to help students freshly arrived from overseas adjust quickly to their new environment," says Bill Crome, Group Manager for Student Support. "By the end of the week they will be up to speed with such essentials as transport, where to shop, personal safety, coping with culture shock and understanding Kiwi slang."

The orientation events for international students are part of a wider programme of talks, tours and other activities for all new students.

They will be formally welcomed at a powhiri at the University Marae. Lectures spread over three days cover study ("Time-saving tips", "Managing your course readings"), library and IT facilities, and practicalities like flatting, purchasers' rights and driving responsibly.

Many of the students will take part in the Uniguide scheme. They team up in small groups with trained student mentors who introduce them to the University and its services, and provide ongoing friendship and support.

"This buddy system has proved its worth over several years," says Mr Crome. "The first-year students quickly find their feet and, with someone experienced in university ways there to guide and advise them, they are less likely to fall by the wayside."

ENDS

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