A networking event organised by Study Southland and the Invercargill Rotary Club has helped to roll out the welcome mat for international students in the Southland region.

A ‘Meeting Talent’ networking event was hosted by Study Southland in partnership with the Invercargill Rotary Club last week (Tuesday, 23 October) in an attempt to connect international students with local people, business owners and potential employers.

Venture Southland International Education Manager Joice Dondalski said the event was a great success with 51 people attending including 36 students from eight different countries.

The event was organised by Dondalski following results of the 2018 International Student Survey which found networking events can positively affect a student’s experience in Southland.

“According to the survey, 95% of the tertiary students in Southland would feel more welcomed and have a more enjoyable stay in Southland if they were given the opportunity to network with local residents and potential employers,” Dondalski said.

Joice Dondalski - staff photo

Dondalski said there were many benefits to holding a networking event including helping to build student confidence when applying for employment opportunities. 

“We know from the survey that securing employment both during and post studying is extremely important for students, so are pleased to be able to host events that can connect students with opportunities in the region,” Dondalski said.

International student enrolments continue to grow in Southland with a 3% increase in international student enrolments for 2017, compared to enrolment data from 2016.

Dondalski said that increasing numbers of international education students in Southland contributes to a diverse and globally connected region.

The economic contribution of international education to Southland was recently identified by Education New Zealand as being worth $60 million.

Dondalski said Study Southland, who represents the education providers of the Southland region, is committed to further growth in this area and will continue to look at events and initiatives that can positively affect the Southland student experience.