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The International Education and Partnerships at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted the International Students Orientation Day at the D-Block Conference Room, ML Sultan campus on Friday, 03 March 2023.

According to the International Student Relations Officer at DUT, Ms Philiswa Mncube who was also the programme director on the day, the event was aimed at welcoming and acclimating new international students into the DUT Community.

“Apart from the general DUT students’ orientation that is held by the institution, the International Education and Partnerships is also responsible for hosting another orientation which is specific to the needs of international students. It is designed to help students get acquainted with the International Students Leadership (ISO), the DUT SRC, and with each other. This assists them in making new friends, appoint their countries’ representatives, and join the ISO assembly WhatsApp group, where students gather to share their day to day experiences. This is useful for them to easily integrate in the 3 to 5 years of their lives at DUT, as they are away from home,” said Mncube.

This event also focused at giving the new international students the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the DUT services and supports, the university culture, Durban culture and its surroundings.

Officially welcoming the students was Ms Divina Jithoo, Manager: International Education and Partnerships.

“Thank you for choosing DUT to be your home away from home for the duration of your studies. We are honoured that you have entrusted us with your academic endeavours and we will aim to make sure you receive all the benefit of being a student at DUT. At DUT, we aim to ensure that by the end of this journey, you are adaptive glocal graduates who are creative, innovative and entrepreneurial as well graduates who espouse our global values of mutuality, tolerance, fairness and resilience in our interrelated society,” said Jithoo.

She further stated that DUT as per its new tagline, will ensure that the students receive an education that is Creative. Distinctive. Impactful.

“By choosing to study internationally, you are already ahead of the game. I want to encourage you to sustain that enquiring mind, make your mark here and take in DUT and South Africa in all of its glory,” Jithoo said, applauding the students for their determination.

Giving a warm welcome to the students was the DUT Student Representative Council (SRC) Deputy Secretary-General, Ms Aaliya Ndlovu. She advised the attendees that the SRC is there to cater for all students and they must feel free to engage with the SRC on any matters they might face at the university.

“Kusekhaya la, feel at home. We welcome you to DUT and please do not hesitate to seek help from the SRC,” said Ndlovu.

The students also listened to presentations from representatives from the DUT Library, Student Counselling and Health, Clinic and the Grants Office. They were also introduced to the leadership of the International Students Organisation (ISO) and encouraged to join ISO WhatsApp group where they will engage with other students for support and guidance.

ISO President, Ms Moddie Gono encouraged students to always remember the reason they chose to study at DUT, when the going gets tough. She advised them to join the ISO WhatsApp group so that they do not end up feeling alone and they can relate to other students who have faced similar challenges. Gono shared that what pushes her to persevere despite challenges is the thought of not returning home empty handed.

Pictured: DUT international students during their orientation.

Photographer: Nomvelo Zulu.

Simangele Zuma

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