The Chief Minister’s Student Welcome on Friday 4 March 2016 was attended by over 200 tertiary and high school students, along with key figures from the education sector and diplomatic community, including High Commissioners from Britain, Papua New Guinea and Malaysia, as well as the Vice‑Chancellor from the Australian National University (ANU) and the CEO of Canberra Institute of Technology. Senior representatives from University of NSW (Canberra), University of Canberra, Australian Catholic University and the Education and Training Directorate also attended.
The event featured a keynote address from Chief Minister Andrew Barr, himself an ANU graduate, who took the opportunity to formally introduce and acknowledge the 19 Study Canberra Student Ambassadors to the community. The 2016 cohort of Ambassadors represent eight different nationalities and are studying across four tertiary institutions and two colleges. Their role is to promote Canberra as a study destination to local, national and international students, and so far this year they have welcomed new students at the Study Canberra Airport Welcome Desk and spoken to thousands of students about their study experience during Orientation Week.
Vice-Chancellor of the ANU Professor Brian Schmidt also welcomed new students and presented certificates to 10 recipients of the ANU–Study Canberra India Scholarships. Attendees were also treated to an Indigenous Welcome to Country ceremony and performance by 2015 Australian Busking Champion and Canberra student, Lucy Sugerman.
More than 12,000 international students from over 40 different countries are currently enrolled in Canberra’s tertiary institutions, including 500 international school students studying in our high schools and colleges. Furthermore, a staggering 40 per cent of tertiary students enrolled in the ACT are from interstate.
The event acknowledged the significant social and economic contribution international students make to the ACT, with a recent report from Deloitte Access Economics confirming they contribute over $879 million a year to Canberra’s economy and create approximately 6,100 full time equivalent jobs.
The Student Ambassador program has been a success story for Study Canberra with fantastic support from local institutions, the wider community and students. Throughout the year the Ambassadors tell their Canberra story and promote the many great aspects of living and studying in the ACT to current and prospective students.
Recruitment for the 2016 Study Canberra Student Ambassadors was hotly contested with over 130 applications received from local, interstate and international students. The quality of applications was outstanding, reflecting the high calibre of students studying in Canberra across a diverse range of programs.
19 students were selected as Student Ambassadors, representing eight countries – Australia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, and Papua New Guinea.
The students are currently studying across six institutions representing high school, VET and university sectors including Canberra Institute of Technology, University of Canberra, Australian National University, University of New South Wales (Canberra) and Dickson and Narrabundah Colleges. This is the first year international students from Colleges have been included.
The 2016 cohort was recently presented to the ACT community at the Chief Minister’s Student Welcome on Friday 4 March 2016.
The Student Ambassador program comprises of students with a broad range of university experiences and a diverse range of academic disciplines. The Ambassadors are profiled on the Study Canberra website where they offer an insight into student life in Canberra and why they chose to study here.
Annie from Sydney says “My experience of university in Australia’s most liveable city whilst studying an interesting degree is second to none. I view Canberra as a student city, where a lot of young people live and interact".
Annaz from Malaysia says “I chose Canberra because of the endless opportunities that Canberra has to offer. Being a relatively young city, it has great ideas and possibilities that make it a great place for me to explore. I am always minutes away from the best shops and the best hiking tracks Australia has to offer”.
Regardless of their origin or their program of choice, these students have been telling their Canberra story to thousands of prospective students, and sharing some of the secrets of our city for those newly arrived.
The Student Ambassadors will continue this work throughout the year by sharing their knowledge and experiences in the Study Canberra digital space and at a range of events including Tertiary Open Day, Canberra Careers Expo and Semester Two Orientation.
The full list of Study Canberra Student Ambassadors and their profiles is available on the Student Ambassadors page.
Study Canberra Student Ambassadors were out in force to speak to new students during Orientation Week at University of Canberra (UC) and Australian National University.
Study Canberra partnered with Visit Canberra to attend Market Days at both institutions on Wednesday 10 March. The response was outstanding with the Ambassadors distributing over 1,300 Study Canberra bags in a matter of hours to eager new students who have arrived from interstate and overseas. The bags included a range of Study Canberra promotional material and useful information, with the Insider’s Guide to Canberra for International Students and the 2016 Canberra Visitor’s Guide proving most popular.
Many of the students encountered at Market Day appreciated the assistance and knowledge offered by Student Ambassadors about Canberra’s lifestyle and events - information from real students who have experienced living in Canberra. Representing eight countries and six institutions, the diversity of the Student Ambassadors made it easy for the new students to relate to the information they provided.
In addition to attending Market Day, the Study Canberra Student Welcome Desk was in operation at Canberra Airport from 8 to 12 February. The desk was run in conjunction with UC, with the university providing UC Student Ambassadors armed with a range of helpful information for UC students.
Over the five days Student Ambassadors engaged with over 120 new students, along with over 50 people from other stakeholder groups including parents of students, prospective students and university staff. Feedback from everyone who interacted with the Welcome Desk was overwhelmingly positive.
Most enquiries received at the Welcome Desk related to transport and accommodation options, student events and activities, dining options and the key places to visit in Canberra and around Australia. Student Ambassadors were armed with a full complement of useful information to guide new students through their first days in Canberra.
This was the first time Study Canberra has operated the Student Welcome Desk and based on the encouraging results the Welcome Desk will be rolled out again in future.
Those living in our nation’s capital are being spoilt this month with Canberra celebrating its birthday by holding a show, exhibition, event or activity every single day during March 2016.
March is not only Canberra’s birthday, but the start of autumn, a beautiful season in the ACT where the trees begin to turn and fall colours emerge in abundance.
One of the major events which took place earlier this month during the CBR 31 Days festival is the highly-acclaimed Enlighten. Over nine nights, six of the city’s iconic buildings, including Australian Parliament House and Old Parliament House, were lit up with projections and lighting displays designed by leading artists.
National institutions also opened their doors after dark to host an array of exclusive events and surprising experiences, such as blockbuster exhibitions, showings of rare films, or live music performances.
The remainder of the month features several sporting events and the National Folk Festival from 24-28 March which, now in its 50th year, always draws world-class performers and visitors from around the country.
There are also powerful exhibitions on at the Australian War Memorial, National Museum of Australia and Museum of Australian Democracy. The kids will get a kick out of 'Spiders' at Questacon and March 2016 is the last opportunity to view the amazing Tom Roberts Exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.
CBR 31 Days again highlights Canberra's ability to deliver a diverse range of world-class events.
Getting to Canberra and having your family and friends come to visit just got a whole lot easier with direct international flights to Canberra announced in January this year.
Singapore Airlines have announced the 'Capital Express Route' – linking Canberra with Singapore and Wellington, New Zealand – which is expected to take off from September 2016. The new flights will be the first direct international flights to and from Canberra, with the success of these flights likely to lead to more in the future.
To facilitate direct international flights construction has begun on a new lounge and Customs facilities, set to cost the Canberra Airport $25 million.
Tickets went on sale in February for the September flights with the first allocation already sold out! Customers will fly in retro-fitted Boeing 777’s with individual in-seat entertainment systems and Singapore's audio and video platform on demand.
Singapore Airlines offers passenger connections throughout Asia and Europe, and Virgin, which will code share the new international flights, has a trans-Tasman partnership with Air New Zealand.
Virgin Australia customers will be able to access 89 Singapore Airlines services around the world, and Virgin Frequent Flyer program members will earn points on the new flights. Premium members will have access to additional baggage allowance and entry into Singapore Airlines lounges.
Return economy tickets between Canberra and Singapore priced from AUD $650 and between Canberra and Wellington priced from AUD $469.
Following the popularity of the first Insider Guide to Canberra in 2015, Study Canberra has partnered with publisher Insider Foundry to produce an improved 2nd edition for 2016.
The Insider Guide to Canberra is a great reference for new interstate and overseas students, and is written by locals to provide an ‘insiders’ perspective of what Canberra has to offer. Find accommodation, get a bank account, find a part-time job - new students will settle in and start enjoying living in Canberra as quickly as possible.
Over 10,000 copies of the free publication will be distributed throughout 2016 during Orientation Week (semester one and semester two) and Tertiary Open Day. Copies will also be available from the Student Welcome Desk at Canberra Airport, the Canberra Visitor's Centre and on campus through each institution. Downloadable copies are also available from insiderguides.com.au/canberra