Students enthousiastic about alumni hosts

Image of international students

L to R: Craig Hayman, Stephen Akpa, Anne Cahill, Jun Yi Ong, Robert Cahill, Gloria Cao, and Caren Mok

International students have reported back enthusiastically on the pleasure and benefits they derived from the recent Fun, Fare and Future Alumni dinners. Under the program, alumni host dinners for groups of international and local students to help them network with University alumni and help them integrate into the Australian lifestyle.

Among the repeat hosts this year was the Vice-Chancellor, Michael Spence, who again proved himself an engaging host. “Dinner with the VC was splendid. I don’t know why I was so nervous to start with,” said attendee Anita Trinh. “He was very accommodating and welcoming to all the international students. I made some great contacts that night too and have plans to keep in contact with them.”

Emma Liu echoed her sentiments: “The food was delicious and your family was welcoming. I think we are lucky to have a Vice-Chancellor who is understanding and willing to listen to our voices. Your experience as an international student in the UK also enables you to empathise with the hardship we experience.”

Architect Robert Cahill (BArch ’77) BSc Arch ’74) and his wife Anne hosted a lunch. “Both Anne and I have immensely enjoyed the opportunity to host lunches and meet international students studying at the University. The diversity and experiences of the students make it a real treat to entertain them at our home. It has become a rewarding repeat event on our calendar,” says Robert.

Guest Craig Hayman was equally enthusiastic. “Lunch with Robert and Anne was excellent. They were such kind, accommodating and generous hosts. They made the five of us feel like family, fed us exceptionally well, and opened up to us like old friends. I would be very interested in participating in the future in similar functions.”

Jun Yi Ong: “All of us had a great afternoon. Robert and Anne are really humble and warm people and excellent hosts. It was a good opportunity for me to spend the afternoon chatting with them as well as other schoolmates from diverse cultures and backgrounds.”

Reiner and Julianne Seubert found the experience equally fulfilling when they hosted a group of Veterinary Science students. Reiner (BVSc ’78) has been a fixture at Terrey Hills Animal Hospital for 30 years. “We loved showing the kids the northern beaches and hopefully help them to ‘feel at home’ in Sydney,” he said. “When our son moved to the United States to study some years ago, many people went out of their way to make him feel welcome and comfortable.”

“Reiner and I really enjoyed meeting the girls. We hopped in the car and took them to north head at Manly to see the view to the city, then drove to Long Reef and finally to Palm Beach, and later, a quick tour of the surgery,” said Julianne. "They seemed to have a fun day too. The kids have so much courage and sense of adventure nowadays; they have the confidence to follow their dreams and get out there and meet people! I wish I had been more like that as a youngster.”