Volunteering for numerous community events while studying for a postgraduate degree is not easy at the best of times.
But for international student at the University of New England, Amrit Pal Kaur, it is all about doing what she loves. And now her love for volunteering has had an unexpected outcome.
Amrit, who is from India, has been named as one of three finalists in the 2019 NSW International Student Awards in the higher education category.
“Research is my passion but it’s also important for me to make time to support the community,” Amrit said.
“I love to bring people closer together by sharing my culture and traditions. It is how I relax.
“But I never expected any kind of recognition, which is why my nomination and being named a NSW International student of the Year finalist is such a big honour,” Amrit said.
Amrit arrived in Armidale in 2016 and immediately got involved with the International Hub. The International Hub is a UNE project aimed to engage international students and their families with the local community in New England. It is focused on the health and wellbeing of new arrivals to the region and was initiated as a project run in partnership with Study NSW and Bupa.
“I cooked food and hosted food stalls, I arranged photo and picture displays to introduce India to the community and I performed cultural dances at various events. Children love to join in the dancing and I love when they do. All the activities I do helps to promote mutual respect and understanding.”
Amrit, who is also a member of the UNE Student Ambassador team that advise and support future students on study options, was nominated for the award by Bronwyn Gilson, Compliance Manager at UNE International.
“Amrit is the kind of person that gives of herself in all areas of her life.” Bronwyn said. “UNE’s New England Award is presented to students who embrace the complete UNE experience through social and community activities. It came as no surprise that Amrit was one of the few students who qualified for it this year.”
“In addition, I’m told her research on dung beetle biology and ecology, under the supervision of Professor Nigel Andrew, contributed valuable knowledge to UNE’s Insect Ecology Lab and recognition in the field.
“She is a deserving candidate and it was my pleasure to nominate her for the award.”
The NSW International Student Awards celebrates the outstanding contribution international students make to communities in NSW and recognises excellence in international student community engagement.
The winner will be announced on October 2nd in Sydney.