There’s so much more to your experience as a tertiary student than just classes and assignments. Getting involved in extracurricular activities on campus is the perfect way to socialise, make friends from different disciplines and backgrounds, and simply take a break from your workload. After all, when you look back on your time as an international student, your fondest memories will likely be the times spent with new friends or when you challenged yourself to try new things.
Still not sure about participating in extracurricular activities? Here are our top six reasons to get involved on campus as an international student in Australia.
1. Gaining a sense of belonging
When you join a group of like-minded people to take part in an activity together, you instantly have something in common. Whether that’s a sports team or a study group, you’ll feel a sense of belonging when you surround yourself with people who share your interests. It’s important to have a support network like this while you undertake your tertiary studies, particularly in a foreign country.
Most education providers will have a list of student societies and clubs on their website; this is a great way to seek out like-minded peers. For example, the Sydney Institute of Business and Technology (SIBT) lists its wide range of clubs and societies on its website, making it easy for you to find one that aligns with your interests.
Another way to keep up to date with your campus’ social calendar is to follow them on social media. Most education providers have accounts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok where they post about upcoming activities and events.
2. You’ll make friends that become like family
Sometimes it can be daunting to put yourself out there and meet new people. But once you’ve introduced yourself, the hardest part is over! By continuing to get involved in the social side of campus life, you’ll start to form friendships that will eventually feel like family. Certain education providers, such as SIBT, go above and beyond to foster a “family culture” on campus. Not only will this make your time as a student fun and exciting, but you’ll feel more supported and confident every time you step on campus.
3. Networking opportunities
Your campus is the perfect place to get a head start on networking, which will become an important part of your professional life. Through clubs, classes, workshops, and social events, you’ll be able to make connections with your peers, teachers, guest speakers and more. You never know who you’ll encounter again in the workforce, so now is the perfect time to embrace as many networking opportunities as you can. Ask your teachers and professors if they know about any upcoming networking events relating to your discipline, as this is a great way to meet people who already work in roles you might be interested in.
4. Making a difference in the student community
Another great incentive to get involved on campus is the fact that it provides an outlet for you to make a difference in the student community. For instance, by joining a student guild or union, you’ll gain the ability to advocate for the needs of fellow students and create change that can benefit you and your peers.
When you’re ready to take the next step, stepping into a leadership position within your student guild is a great way to increase your involvement on campus. In turn, you’ll also develop invaluable skills such as public speaking, communication and teamwork – we’ll talk more about these in the following section.
5. Learning new skills
Education providers often host workshops and courses or offer online resources such as resume workshops, LinkedIn seminars, webinars, and many more. Many institutions, such as SIBT, have a team of student learning advisors on hand to assist with academic writing and referencing, maths support, study planning, exam preparation and more.
Read more: What Support Services Are Available to International Students?
Making use of these services is an excellent way to get involved on campus while learning new skills and improving your existing ones. Many of these skills can complement your academic learning/training and improve different areas of your life, both personal and professional.
6. Building your resume
Ultimately, the more you get involved on campus, the more skills and experiences you will be able to add to your professional resume. By partaking in volunteering opportunities, holding a leadership position, or simply organising group study sessions, you’ll develop valuable skills such as time management, communication, teamwork and creativity. These abilities are highly desired by employers, so adding them to your resume will make you a stand-out candidate in the workforce.
For 25 years, SIBT has been the pathway provider of choice for students seeking a steppingstone to a bachelor’s degree at Western Sydney University. No matter your circumstances, when you get involved on campus, you’ll enjoy the family culture offered at SIBT from the moment you arrive.