Hello everyone! My name is Julia (she/her) and I’d like to be your next International Officer! As a current second-year international undergraduate at SOAS, I’ve noticed and personally experienced that settling in as an international student isn’t always easy. We're paying thousands of pounds more than most other students yet it seems like we're barely supported by the university, I think this is best showcased in the current pandemic. A lot more can be done to improve the support available for the students who live thousands of miles away from home and my aim, if elected as International Officer, is to ensure that we as international students are supported rather than exploited.
The list of aims I hope to achieve if elected are as follows:
If elected as the international officer for the coming year, I promise to continue the great work done by the previous international officer in terms of their Covid-19 pandemic promises. As such I would continue to advocate for international students (as well as other students) who were affected by the 2020, 2021, and 2022 Covid-19 pandemic. I plan to work with management to address the needs of the international students and hold them accountable if they do not compensate adequately.
Fees and Funding
In 2021-2022, overseas students will have to pay more than double the amount of fees that UK/EU students will be paying. Moreover; incoming EU freshers will also be facing these outrageous tuition fees for the first time. As the international officer, I will campaign for increased funding and more scholarships for international students to come to SOAS and tackle the issue of increasing annual school fees for international students.
I will work with the Freshers Fayre team to increase the number of events for international freshers. This will allow international freshers to get to know each other first, adjust to the new culture, and form an international community. I will also work with the student union to create a mentoring system for international students where British students can advise freshers on setting up bank accounts, phone contracts, and adjusting to British culture.
Events & Diversity
SOAS is incredibly unique in that it is one of the most international universities in the world. I aim to celebrate this diversity and increase the number of social events for international students to create a supportive network for when they arrive. I hope to integrate the activities of multiple cultural societies to form a more cohesive international environment, and increase cultural awareness and celebrate racial diversity by holding more events, both culture-specific (e.g. cultural balls/dinners) and multicultural.