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Well everyone the last year has been a tremendous year at UTS in terms of various successful campaigns that we ran and now another semester at UTS begins with new faces joining our midst.  It’s time to buckle up and start poring over your books again and for those that have been working full-time these past few weeks, its back to a forty-hour fornightly work schedule.

But campus life isn’t just about studying, there is so much to do and experience and it is disheartening to see that most overseas students don’t partake in the excitement that University life can be.  We are gearing up for another interesting semester at the UTS Students association and you are our major focus.  UTS enjoy a culture of diversity, openness and acceptance that we are trying to intensify even further.

As an international student, you really are a treasure – you provide perspectives on our campuses that are necessary for thorough and complete academic dialogue.  A fellow international student myself who has struggled with the very issues you are trying to cope with, I urge you with every ounce of my being to try and be more actively involved in the workings of this student body.  The work we do is grass roots level campaigning and we need to hear your voices to get them heard by the powers to be.  This a student body by the students and for the students and you form a vast and essential majority.

There is so much you can do to get involved and so many ways you can benefit by being a part of our association.  Issues that are affecting you form the base of many of our campaigns and this year we are fighting for:  Student Poverty, an increase in the 40 hour per fortnight work restriction, safe, affordable accommodation close to campus, travel concession, an end to violence against overseas students, increase in 24 hour study spaces and so many more, if there are any other issues you think affect your life at Uni or otherwise, come in have a chat.  We want to know and we want to make a change for the better.

Volunteering with us is a great way to add to your CV and we are happy to provide references for job applications.  If you have any questions or concerns about living and working in Australia we have a team of Legal eagles just waiting to hear them.

We are not just about activism though, come check out our various collectives to see how much fun you can have while you are at Uni.  There are so many ways to met like-minded individuals and so many activities that will brighten up those lecture filled weeks.  The people at the ethno-cultural collective for one have thought up so many ways to revitalize and pump up the action diversity wise it would be a shame not to check them out.

International students have a lot to offer UTS and Australia, and it’s time that we come forward and show everyone we are willing and able to integrate and contribute.