I can’t believe the first week of term is done already! To all you new freshers – I hope your first week was exciting and you are looking forward to the rest of your time here.
The week before term started I returned to campus to volunteer as part of Welcome to Warwick week. The aim of the programme is to welcome all new postgraduate and international students and help ease the transition of coming to university. I volunteered during the programme last year as a Team Helper and enjoyed it so much I returned as a Team Leader this year!
As a volunteer, it’s a very busy week but so much fun. After meeting my lovely team (shout out to Beth’s Babes!) we had a day of training and packing hundreds of fresher goodie bags. On another day we worked a shift at Heathrow airport which was really exciting! Armed with University of Warwick signs, several teams descended on the airport and greeted new students as they got off their flights. Although it was a late night – my team didn’t have dinner until past 11pm when we got back to campus – it felt very rewarding; we were the first introduction to Warwick for many of the new students! Other roles that we worked included delivering campus tours, directing people, answering questions on the info desk and supporting events that were taking place around campus.
It was such a great experience to meet new students from all over the world and work in small, multicultural teams. I feel like we all made a real difference to the new students starting at Warwick and hopefully made their arrival as seamless as possible!
Something I have taken away from participating in Welcome to Warwick week is just how international Warwick is. Over 25% of the student population is from overseas, which is just an incredible statistic. During the week, I spoke to students from Romania, Germany, China, Singapore, Australia and Malaysia! They had all chosen to leave their home countries and travel across the world to study here, which also reminded me what a prestigious university we are as well. I loved hearing about where everyone was from and learning about their cultures.
Gaining international experience is really important to me. It’s great that at Warwick there are opportunities to gain a greater understanding of living and working abroad (through study abroad or placements) or simply to improve intercultural communication and team work (like volunteering during Welcome to Warwick week). I strongly believe that having such experience is an invaluable skill, both in terms of career prospects and personal development. We are all global citizens and so it is important, now more than ever, that we continue celebrating all the diversity that we have on campus and embrace how international we all are.