Professional Development Program for International Students
Bernie Li, Blair Slater and Vanessa Mastro—UNSW Sydney
The Professional Development Program at the UNSW Sydney is a career development learning and workplace experience program designed to provide international students with communication skills, improve confidence, and develop an understanding of the cross-cultural nature of the Australian workplace. It consists of a 50-hour on-campus workplace experience hosted by offices across UNSW.
The Program provides international students with an excellent sense of community through interaction with UNSW staff and academics. It teaches ways to become part of a professional network at UNSW, engage with careers and employment staff, and stay part of this community through strong alumni connections.
UNSW staff hosted 155 students from over 60 different areas in the 2018/2019 academic year, ranging from Human Resources, the Department of External Relations, Dean’s units and Finance. Throughout their experiences, supervisors and students learn about each other’s backgrounds and cultures and gain an appreciation of the multicultural diversity that UNSW fosters.
Speak and Connect
Katherine Olston—The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching
The University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching (CET) has developed the Speak and Connect initiative to enhance the international student experience by fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness to the university.
The program consists of a series of six free conversational English language workshops designed to facilitate the integration of international students. It also supports international students transitioning to a university environment by helping them develop the necessary English language skills to communicate in different contexts.
Speak and Connect is delivered by peer facilitators trained and mentored by experienced CET English language teacher trainers. The program also enhances the student experience by supporting community building, social interaction, professional development, and the seamless integration of international students to the university and their new lives in Sydney.
UNSW Hero Program
Katie Gamon, Fengjie Wu and David George—UNSW Sydney
The Hero program at the UNSW Sydney focuses on entrepreneurship, industry exposure, and project development. The program brings together teams of incredible students and leading industry partners, developing skills to solve challenges at UNSW and in the wider Sydney community that are not taught in conventional classroom environments.
The program now has over 700 successful alumni, over 250 paid placements with industry or within UNSW, and generated over 70 new ideas eligible for implementation. It stands apart from many international student facing programs by ensuring that domestic and international students are teamed together on a ratio which is as close to even as possible.
The program challenges cohorts to solve issues on campus that can be sponsored for implementation once successfully pitched to industry partners and departmental heads.