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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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