By Kevin Jingga
Speeches from City of Melbourne councillors, free dumplings and a bubble tea competition highlighted a student welcome program at the Melbourne Dumpling Festival on March 15 and 16.
The council hosted a student welcome program at 206 Bourke St to mark the start of the academic year.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp said the program would help international students settle into their new lives in Australia.
“We want to support our international students settle into Melbourne and enjoy everything our great city has to offer,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’re hosting sessions throughout March and April that give students the inside local knowledge on where to shop, how to get involved in sports, local laws and even a complete short course on deciphering Aussie slang.”
City of Melbourne’s international engagement portfolio chair, Cr Philip Le Liu said international student population was Australia’s key economic driver.
He said: “Melbourne’s international student population represents more than 59,000 students living or studying in the central city. We want to ensure students are given all the support they need to enjoy their time here.”
The event offered 250 free dumplings and a chance to win a year of free dumplings.
“I think it’s very good, like sharing the food from different countries, it’s really tasty,” said Alice Cheung, a Swinburne international student.
“It’s a warm welcome when the Lord Mayor gives us a speech and encourages us for studying and living. I am so proud to live in Melbourne.”
The wine and dumpling pairing experiences and bubble tea competition also marked the festival.
“It’s been really great, lots of fun. I really appreciate it,” said Mark Skepasts, the bubble tea competition winner.
“It feels great, I am carrying so much adrenaline right now,” he said, shortly after winning the competition.
According to the recently-released 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, six of Australia’s top universities are in the prestigious top 100, two of which are located in the City of Melbourne.