The international student leadership and ambassador program for 2021 – 22 provides free training, mentoring and volunteering opportunities to enhance leadership skills and experience.
Participants also have an opportunity to be involved in policy and program development and research relating to international students while building a support network and making new friends.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney program was a great way to forge community connections while having important experiences.
“International students play an important role in the diversity of our city and we want to support them to make the most of their experiences, especially given the challenges they have faced in 2020,” said the Lord Mayor.
“We encourage applications from students from a broad range of tertiary education institutions, educational backgrounds, cultures and life experiences.”
During their 18-month term, the City’s international student ambassadors attend workshops on leadership, cultural awareness, project management, community engagement and professional writing. They are also involved in a range of activities centred around promoting social connection, health and wellbeing.
The 25 graduates from the class of 2018-20 contributed nearly 7,500 volunteer hours with the City and charity and community organisations working on 31 projects. Because of the impacts of the pandemic they adapted to the circumstances and moved several events online.
Class of 2018-2020 graduate Olivia Zhang, who is originally from China, described the ambassador program as empowering. She said that not only did it help her professional skills, she also forged friendships with people she would not normally have connected with.
“I’m so grateful I got the opportunity to be a part of this program. This learning journey, the professionals and peers I bonded with, as well as the events we held together or participated in, have empowered my leadership skills,” said Olivia.
International student ambassador Nithya Sam, who is originally from India, said the program helped her grow in many ways.
“Taking part in the City of Sydney’s student ambassador program has been an amazing experience for me – it opened up a lot of opportunities and has helped me grow as a person, both personally and professionally,” said Nithya.
“The training modules equipped me with practical skills and insights into my strengths and my areas of improvement. I would encourage students to apply for this program.”
“The various projects we work on give you the confidence to interact with a diverse range of people and organisations and contribute to the welfare of the student in NSW. It truly is a wonderful journey,” said Nithya.
Launched in 2013, the program has so far mentored and supported more than 120 international student leaders and ambassadors. Applications are now open for 2021 – ISLA program and close Sunday 20 December 2020. For more information, visit: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au for details.
Image: International Student Leadership Ambassador – courtesy of City of Sydney