UKZN Hosts Virtual Orientation for International First Year Students
Sixty-five international first year students who will study at UKZN this year attended a virtual orientation session hosted by the International Relations Office.
Speaking at the event, Acting Executive Director: Corporate Relations Ms Normah Zondo welcomed students from all over the world and congratulated them on being accepted at UKZN. She reminded them to follow COVID-19 protocols, and highlighted the University`s blended learning approach which has made learning content available online.
‘As the University management we are here to support you, contribute to your learning and help you succeed in your academic studies,’ said Zondo.
Introducing SIMEKA Health as a company which assists UKZN international students acquire affordable and suitable medical aid cover, consultant Ms Debbie Pretorius highlighted the importance of the South African Immigration Act which makes it mandatory for all international students to have medical aid as part of their student visa.
International student officer on the Howard College campus Ms Londeka Mzobe took students on a virtual tour of all five UKZN campuses.
Security and Traffic Manager Mr Trevor Abrahams explained the functions of the three divisions in Risk Management Services (RMS) – (1) Security and Traffic, (2) Investigations, and (3) Occupational Health and Safety.
He mentioned the UKZN Panic Button App that instantly alerts security if the holder is in a threatening or emergency situation and urged students to download the free app through Google Play or Apple App stores.
Mrs Mirriam Jassat and Ms Cebisile Kubeka of Student Counselling focused on their department’s four core services - life skills development, and academic, career and personal counselling. As a free confidential service conducted by qualified professionals, Jassat and Kubeka encouraged students to seek their services for support and direction.
Deputy President of the Student Representative Council (SRC) Ms Nondumiso Zwane underlined the Council’s role as a body created to represent and serve students. She called on students to make their families proud and to enjoy their stay at the Institution.
Highlighting his experience at UKZN, former international student Mr Jeevesh Nandan thanked the International Relations Office and the International Student Association (ISA) for making him feel at home. Said Nandan: ‘This has been amazing experience and I look forward to coming back.’
Former ISA President Mr Steve Kyalangalilwa invited students to join the organisation listing it as welcoming space for them to learn, celebrate their diversity and voice their opinions.
In closing, Ms Nombuso Mtshali, Head: International Student Office and facilitator for the event, thanked all those who attended and her team for organising the orientation occasion.
Other speakers for the event included, Ms Renee Damonse who explained how to gain online access to the University Library; Ms Zanele Hlophe of Student Governance and Leadership Development (SGLD) who shared how her department supports student clubs and societies; and Ms Zilungile Ntombela of the Sports Union, who encouraged students to stay active and take advantage of their offerings.
Words: Hlengiwe Khwela