International students given a warm South African welcome
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International students given a warm South African welcome

Home Affairs officials addressing students

Puleng Maphisa

The year for stepping into the journey of acquiring an education abroad commenced when the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) took its first years through International Orientation day.

The VUT International Relations Office welcomed its students with open arms. The orientation was set to familiarise students with their new environment and to make them feel comfortable. The team members of the International office were introduced by the International Relations Manager Mr Siyabonga Kohli.

External guests were invited such as Home Affairs who advise students on Visa Regulations and Immigration laws pertinent note was made of Section 49 of the Immigration Act No13 of 2002 relating to punishable offences.( https://www.gov.za/sites/www.gov.za/files/a13-02_0.pdf) Medical aid scheme who elaborated on what students are medicaly covered for and how claims are managed, Standard bank and First National bank were at hand to assist with financial advice and the Vanderbijlpark South African Police Services familiarise students with the crime that unfortunately affects the area, and how the student must protect him or herself

Members of the Vanderbijlpark SAPS mentioned that the most common crimes they come across are those of domestic violence, robbery and drugs.

SAPS spokesperson, Sergeant Gertrude Makhale, said that students, especially women, should avoid walking alone at night; they should try to walk together as a group.

VUT psychologist, Ms Zandile Shabangu from Student Counselling and Support. introduced students to that the support they offer like support group services, academic services and clinical psychology.

The Orientation day was closed with students being reminded that the International office is a safe space and that the office is there should they need them.

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