Lancaster University

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International Student Success

03/31/2004 16:52:41

International students from Lancaster University have been short listed for a major national award thanks to their inspiring letters home.

Students from some of the many countries represented at the University wrote about their daily lives at Lancaster describing everything from fashion to fish and chips.

The letters, which were submitted to the British Council International Student Awards, have beaten off competition from more than 2,000 student entries from more than 145 nationalities, giving them the chance to win a place in the April final in which the winner will receive a prestigious award and up to £2,000.

Now in their second year, the awards recognise international students who have learned new skills, achieved personal ambitions, enjoyed new experiences or made a contribution to their institution or community since coming to the UK.

In their letters, students described the friendships they had made, the places they had visited and many of their personal triumphs – from qualifying as a mentor to young people at risk of committing crime to winning a prestigious NASA student internship.

Many of the letters discussed both the challenges of living in a different culture and the warmth and tolerance the students have encountered both on and off campus. One student described overcoming her fears at living as a Muslim in post-September 11 Britain, another her sadness at the death of 19 fellow Chinese citizens in Morecambe Bay. Another wrote: “Regardless of what I have done here, what I have become speaks volumes for the country I am living in and the people I am surrounded by.”

Among those short listed were:

L Chunyu Pang, China.

L Khaliah Janate Walker, USA.

L Cristina Chifor, Romania.

L Nazihah Abdul Mumin, Malaysia.

L Sabe Connor, Zimbabwe.

L Sara Khan, Pakistan.

Lancaster University International Office Director John McGovern said: “One in five of the 11,000 students at the university is international and there are more than 90 different countries represented on campus. This makes Lancaster one of the top ten universities in Britain in terms of its international student ratio. As their letters demonstrate, these students make a massive contribution to both the university and the local community. It is therefore very pleasing to see that they also feel so positive about their experience at Lancaster.”

Director General of the British Council David Green said: “Progressing this far in the International Student Awards is a real achievement. Thousands of international students make the life-altering decision to come to the UK each year, and gain just as much from their non-academic experiences and achievements as they do from their studies. This awards scheme is about celebrating those wider experiences.”