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The International Students’ Council

Genevieve Fontanier



As we approach our first year anniversary of existence, the International Students’ Council looks to have a strong, united voice representing international students at Victoria. The ISC was firmly established in 2006 as a representative group after the creation of the International Officer’s position at VUWSA, and has since grown to over eighty members. We reach students across all campuses, and will soon have our third meeting of the year, and first at Pipitea campus.

After last year’s successful Amazing Welly Race, we plan to run many fun events and gatherings, to benefit both international and domestic students. On March 31, the ISC hosted our first Rugby Night – we took over twenty students from six different countries (Thailand, Malaysia, United States, China, Germany and New Zealand) to watch the Hurricanes and to have a Kiwi-style dinner afterwards. A large majority of the students had not been to a rugby game before, and so were thrilled at the chance to go with the group. The Hurricanes’ hard-fought victory also contributed to the excitement. The event filled up quickly and we had to turn away many more students than expected, so we hope to run a similar event next trimester.
Other events planned for the year include karaoke, bowling, and food stalls in the quad. In addition, we will be sponsoring two large social events this year. Some upcoming events include: International 3-on-3 Freestyle Bball Competition at the Rec Centre, May 10-11 from 12 to 2pm – represent your home or favourite country and claim the $100 prize; Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – a Mexican celebration on May 5 at The Establishment (upstairs) from 9 to 11pm, boasting drink specials, Latin music, food and prizes.
In addition to running events, the International Students’ Council supports and advocates for international students’ rights and welfare issues. This is done primarily through VUWSA, as the ISC is a representative group. Around the time of international student fee-setting (mid-year) we will try to stop international students’ fees from rising another fifteen percent. International students’ fees have a large impact on domestic fees (the less money the university gets from a decline in international students, the more they charge domestic students), and so the ISC hopes both domestic and international students can work together on the fee rise issue.
New members are always welcome, including domestic students. Check our website – www.iscvuw.bravehost.com – as well as posters around campus, for upcoming event and meeting times.
Genevieve; United States; President
“The social and welfare aspects of the International Students’ Council are integral for a well-rounded university life. I hope that this year we are able to make a lasting impression on all Victoria students and obliterate any stereotypes. In addition I hope every student who participates in ISC meetings and activities can benefit from them and expand their circle of friends.”
Jarod; Malaysia; Vice President
“ISC = Potential
Potential – Participation = Waste
Potential + Participation = Fulfillment of Purpose
Participation = International Students
Our raison d’être is your fullness of joy… But we need YOU, to make a difference in YOUR world!”
Patarin; Thailand; Secretary
“Being in a strange country away from home where you cannot use your own language is not easy. That’s why International Students’ Council is here to help and give support for every international student who has any problems while studying at Victoria. We also set up events and activities for everyone (including Kiwi students) to participate in, so that both international and Kiwi students will get to know each other and learn about other cultures! Remember that you’re not alone – we are all here for you.”
Lussiana; Indonesia; Treasurer
“ISC is a great organisation to meet with other students, particularly international students. I will never regret being involved in ISC because this organisation is the best place to meet lots of students from many different countries. Also, in the Council I can contribute my skills as with what I study. So, please come and join with ISC to make your lives more colourful and meaningful! Local students are also welcome.”
Sheela; Malaysia; General Executive
“The international student council is here to assist all international students in various challenges they might face while studying here in New Zealand. We provide both activities & support for students. The ISC is a great place to meet people from various countries with different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. Holding a position in ISC will allow me to bridge the gap between the ISC and who do not know what the Council is all about. “
Huyen; Vietnam; General Executive
“I gave the ISC election a shot and got into the council. I generally find international students remain a very silent and invisible part of Vic, so along with other members of the council, I’d like to create more opportunities for them to express and celebrate their unique culture, and above all, to assist them to integrate into New Zealand.”
Alex; China; General Executive
“I think the main purpose of the International Student Council is to bring the best services to every single international student, so as one of the executive in ISC we should take the responsibility to make sure everyone will have fun during the time of study in Victoria University. It is worth mentioning that we are working on some interesting events including sports and cultural activities. I am sure there will be something that interests you. So please keep your eyes out for us.”