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International Students Given Warm Welcome


International students at the University of Derby, based in the East Midlands of the UK, have visited London and the Chatsworth Estate in Derbyshire as part of a programme of welcome events designed to make their first week in the UK as enjoyable as possible.

This year, the University welcomed 673 international students from countries such as Australia, Zambia, Cameroon, Korea, Malaysia and Morocco who will be studying a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses; from degrees in Psychology to Masters degrees in Strategic Management.

Aileen Hammersley, Director of the University's School of Flexibleand Partnership Learning, said: “We want to give all of our new students the best possible welcome and Freshers' experience. For students from overseas this is particularly important as not only are they joining a University, but they have the additional challenges of adapting to a different culture and lifestyle.”

To start the welcome week, the students were greeted by the University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Coyne, before they embarked on a guided tour of Derbycity centre. So they could get to see a little more of the Derbyshire and the UK, they also visited the nearby Chatsworth Estate and took a day trip to London.

Peter Pakoran Acar, 20, a Thai-French national from France who is studying a Joint Honours degree in International Relations and Global Development, said: “I had two choices of English university. I came here because the course had a really global feel to it. The place feels very friendly already.”

As well as the full activity programme, students had introductory talks about what they can expect from student life in Derby and were given advice on money matters, how to manage their finances, and immigration issues.

Abdul Wahid, 21, from Pakistan, has come to Derbyto study Business. He said: “I've been to lots of different presentations as part of the welcome week. They've covered things like visa applications and I've found them very useful.”

The international students' first week was rounded off with a welcome party in the University of Derby Students' Union Academy Bar at the University's Kedleston Road site, giving them a chance to socialise and get to know one another a little better.

Caitlin Smith, 20, from Connecticut, USA, who is at Derbyfor one semester as part of her course said: “My school has a partnership agreement with the University of Derby which is why I'm here. I spoke to people back home who'd been here before and they loved it”, she said.

Four of the University's International Assistants were involved in the welcome activities; picking up students from airports, greeting students at halls when they arrived and helping on the visits.