The Campus Clinic Sister, Mrs Maria Phondo addressing the International first year students
It is that time of the year when education separates international students from their loved ones. It was a reminder of a new beginning, a new chapter for our beloved brothers and sisters from outside the borders of South Africa through the International Orientation Day, which was hosted by the Department of International Relations & Advancement at Vaal University of Technology (VUT).
VUT hosted its orientation in the name of love for its first-year students who are from different countries. Students and guests were welcomed by Mr Siyabonga Kohli the Manager of International Relations & Advancement Department.
“It is good to be in South Africa, take this opportunity to learn about the country’s cultural diversity and richness. Yearly VUT has what we call International Cultural Day which offers students from various countries represented within VUT a budget to buy ingredients indigenous to their home countries to prepare their traditional foods as well as allowing students to express their cultural regalia and performance to showcase and celebrate the beauty of diversity together, we ask you to participate in such activities in order to create awareness and show what an impact your cultural diversity can make to another person,” said Mr Kohli.
His welcome encouraged many students who already felt that VUT is their second home. At the gathering, visitors from different departments such as Medical Aid Schemes, the Department of Home Affairs, Visa Facilitation Services, VUT Campus Clinic and HIV and Aids Unit shared their sentiments by making students feel at home.
Medical Aid Schemes such as Momentum and Compare emphasised the importance of students not cancelling their medical aid cover, especially when they are international students.
The Department of Home Affairs and Visa Facilitation Services discussed the importance of renewing visas and study permits 60 days before the expiry date.
The Campus Clinic Sister, Mrs Maria Phondo, said students were welcome to use services on offer at the clinic at any time, she also explained the symptoms of the Coronavirus that has infected so many people in China and around the world.
She said signs and symptoms are fever, sore throat, coughing and sneezing, difficulty in breathing, runny nose, headaches and a general feeling of malaise. Transmission can be reduced by washing hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with dirty hands, and avoiding contact with people who are infected with the virus.
In conclusion, Senior Administrator at the Department of International Relations and Advancement, Ms Venessa Bradbury, said that the Department is a safe zone for students to come for help and assistance with various needs. It is an office that prides itself in acknowledging cultural diversity.