Candidate for the position of International & Postgraduate Officer

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Olivia Fan

Olivia, here for you

 

Building a solid connection between students and our university

  • Due to the pandemic many international students have not returned to campus, most of them are studying at home and are therefore not interacting with the university campus on a daily basis. The connection between students and our university should be strengthened instead of just doing end of semester surveys etc. We could create a platform in the form of drop-in sessions so that whenever students have queries or encounter any issues, we could get their instant feedback and try to improve their experience immediately.

 

  • We should continue to help staff and students embrace international culture and religions to celebrate a variety of cultures. For example, celebrating important festival dates, decorating the Union at these times and ensure the representation of different cultural backgrounds to build an environment where students feel at home.

 

  • To enhance the counseling service, translators or counsellors that know a variety of languages, to understand their thoughts at a deeper level. For our international students, it is clear that some feelings are hard to express when you speak a second language. If there is someone that could understand their language then they could easily be open with them, and we could provide better support in helping them solve their problems.

 

Expanding International/PG & PhD financial and career support

  • International/PG & PhD hardship fund – Simplify the hardship fund application process to allow immediate support to those who critically need it. Including PhD students who may bring their families to the UK, a group that requires more attention.

 

  • It is important to make sure that all the international and home students are aware of the services and opportunities that the university has to offer for us such as: job opportunities, sponsorships, and laptops borrowing.

 

  • Create more job opportunities for international students and ensure the diversity of union staff. Currently, in the union shops, quite a few of the students working here are home students, we should provide more job opportunities for international students and also postgraduates to make our union more inclusive.

 

  • Increase scholarship for international students - currently, our international scholarship is very limited compared to home students. All students should be equally considered.

 

 

Increase engagement between home students and international students, including postgrads and PhD:

  • Home students and international students - I aim to create a cultural exchange buddy group, with a focus on equality, barriers between them. Not only will this involve language exchanges - but students can feel more welcomed, for example, meeting up to have fun and talk about general things (whilst adhering to social distancing measures). This will create a platform providing the opportunity to create new bonds and improve cultural understanding within the campus.

 

  • Supporting International students - By incorporating a WhatsApp group chat I have created; we share about our daily life, and with 160 students in the group, it will be easy to find someone that can help. You can also find people from your home country and build more relations - this can provide comfort for students who are feeling apprehensive.

 

  • Postgraduate students - Both home and international. Postgraduates and PhD students are easily forgotten when considering extra-curricular activities. I would like to help them make their experience in Leeds more colorful and meaningful by including them in our societies and events – promote events that they can join.