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International Affairs : What is International Affairs?

The University of the Free State (UFS) International Affairs, a newly established structure, includes and expands on the activities of the former International Office. As part of the Directorate for Research Development, it offers services to foreign students - current and potential, staff members, departments and research centres. It provides information on a wide range of topics, including

  • visas - study visas and travel,
  • financial questions,
  • social and cultural differences and
  • personal concerns.

International Affairs has two components

  • activities aimed at research development and 
  • support services for international students.

Activities aimed at research development include

  • Creating opportunities for and assistance of staff to conduct research abroad, 
  • Creating opportunities for and facilitating international visits for staff members,
  • Facilitating visits of internationally acknowledged academics,
  • Mobilising international funding for research,
  • Initiating, expanding and maintaining international research, teaching and/or community service agreements,
  • Establishment of exchange programmes for postgraduate students with the aim to promote research,
  • Strategic expansion of membership of national and international research and teaching bodies.

International students are supported by

  • Information provision to prospective and current students, 
  • Providing information to foreign Embassies and Consulates,
  • Hosting welcome and orientation programmes, 
  • Faculty liaison on behalf of international students, 
  • Assistance with visas, study permits, accommodation and procurement of funding,
  • Advice on and facilitating social interaction, 
  • Assisting activities of the International Students’ Association, 
  • Marketing to attract international students,
  • Marketing to place current UFS students with internationally acknowledged universities.

Other services provided by International Affairs include

  • Assisting exchange students, 
  • Facilitating and managing international inter-institutional agreements and partnerships,
  • Facilitating academic visits, 
  • Promoting UFS at international conferences and workshops.
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