The Friends of the International Students committee (FoIS), within the School of Applied Human Sciences (SAHS), recently hosted a function at the Howard College Theatre to welcome all their International students.

Twenty-six postgraduate International students from both the Howard College and Pietermaritzburg campuses attended the function.  Nine of the students are PhDs, 12 are registered at Masters level and the remaining five are at Honours level.

The students are from a variety of African countries including Nigeria, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

According to Dr Thandi Magojo, a lecturer and co-ordinator in Academic monitoring and support at the School, the Friends of the International Students’ aim is to make the International students feel welcome.

‘It is important that the education received by international students is not confined to the classroom but extends to an understanding and appreciation of the local culture and community. It is also envisaged that local students will benefit from interactions with international students through the FoIS,’ said Magojo.

‘Seeing that these students are potential future leaders in their respective countries, in the long term the relationship could have a wider impact beyond UKZN. While it would be ideal for South African students to spend at least a semester in an African institution outside of the country, this is not possible for many of our students at present and it is envisaged that relationships established through the FoIS could possibly enable many of them to learn about and appreciate the continent,’ said Magojo.

Gender Studies PhD student Ms Claudine Hingston said, ‘The Friends of the International Students’ Committee is doing a good job in trying to network with international students and make them feel part of the UKZN family.’

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