At CIC Higher Education, international students experience a happy balance between having fun and getting serious about their studies. And why not? The College’s culture of engagement aims to make students feel that they’re all part of one big community – whether it’s studying together or individually – engaging in stimulating discussions and debates (not to mention having a few laughs here and there), preparing for exams, sharing experiences and doing activities that showcase their multicultural backgrounds. All these activities combined resulted in a better understanding of one another’s idiosyncrasies and what makes each other tick.
Fun community culture
CIC-HED looks at its students as part of a close-knit community where the Campus Manager, Faculty, Lecturers and Student Services form the support team that helps students to become progressive thinkers and competent professionals.
Multiculturalism is encouraged at CIC Higher Education. Through cultural events, students get involved in each other’s cultural practices. CIC honours celebrations, ceremonies and annual events that shape the culture of a nation. They uphold the fun-loving spirit of international students who enrich the school not just with their intelligent wit and passion for an education that’s based on globally-accepted standards. More importantly, CIC celebrates each student’s uniqueness and supports their individual goals to achieve a college degree anchored on nationally-recognised higher education benchmarks. The following are some of the activities undertaken at the CIC Melbourne campus.
Festivals and multiculturalism
International students as well as CIC-HED faculty and staff take time out to celebrate the festivals of the countries that are represented in the college, comprised but not limited to some of the following nationalities: Chinese, Indians, Indonesians, Macedonians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Sri Lankans, Thais and Vietnamese.
Just recently, CIC celebrated the Lunar New Year which is not only significant for Sri Lankan, Chinese and Indian nationals but also for everyone who believes in the good fortune brought about by the 12 animal signs. It was marked with a lot of well-wishing for health and wealth. The students came to the get-together, dressed in their colourful traditional attire. Sri Lankan students organised fun activities that showcased their culture and entertained everyone who gathered for the event.
The Philippines’ Filo (short for Filipino) Fiesta is another activity that students participated in. It was marked with lunchtime merrymaking over a spread of Philippine cuisine and native delicacies and a showcase of ethnic dance numbers by Filipino students and lecturers in their native costumes.
CIC periodically holds sports events to get the students involved and form friendships that could last a lifetime. One of the most popular indoor activities that they have undertaken recently is the table tennis competition. More activities for the upcoming sessions will be announced soon.
Student book exchange
International students bring old books and sell to incoming students at a bargain and buy a new set of books for the next session’s uptake also at a reduced price. This mutual sharing of resources is also encouraged at the college, aimed at not only saving money but also for fostering understanding and camaraderie.
Tips and information sharing
CIC Higher Education’s social media pages are replete with information on building students’ communication skills for public speaking and acing job interviews. They also promote sites that focus on current issues from maintaining a healthy lifestyle to understanding Australia’s work practices as promoted by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Survey and feedback mechanisms
Before the end of each term, CIC Higher Education sends out a two-pronged survey where students get to evaluate (1) teaching competency and learning effectiveness as well as (2) accessibility of campus facilities and resources. This is encouraged to continuously improve and grow the campus organically as it fosters a culture of engagement, just like a family where open communication is encouraged in the spirit of mutual understanding.
Social events and “community” traditions
A Walk to Remember. As part of the College’s engagement program, students recently organised “A Walk to Remember” where they got together and explored the sights and sounds of Melbourne and neighbouring suburbs. Here they got to know their study destination better by chatting with the locals, sampling various cuisines, shopping for bargains, and exploring museums and lush green parks.
End of Term Party. CIC Higher Education also organised a get-together two weeks before the final exams for students to celebrate the end of term. Students temporarily bid their new friends goodbye until they reconnect in the next term. A lot of them don’t have their family living with them in Australia. Without the support system of a family, students need the support and encouragement of their peers and an event like this gives them another opportunity to solidify friendships formed during the term.
Alumni Networking. The college also held a networking event for new alumni to touch base with CIC executives and industry experts. This was a good opportunity for them to listen to the experiences of those who have made a success of their careers.
Students can expect more from CIC Higher Education in the coming weeks. In the pipeline is the Fair & Square Lifestyle Festival which showcases live cooking shows, free sustainable lifestyle workshops, fashion program talks, and budget-conscious shopping. Students are advised to watch out for it in the Cambridge International College Facebook page.