26 July 2022 | Story Bulelwa Moikwatlhai | Photo Supplied
UFS exchange students
Experiencing the UFS in person for the first time are from the left: Sandor Potjer (VU Amsterdam), Bulelwa Moikwatlhai (UFS OIA), Ricarda Kochems (Bremen University, Germany), Froukje Pronk (VU Amsterdam) and Matome Mokoena (UFS OIA)

As the UFS COVID-19 Regulations and Required Vaccination Policy has been lifted with immediate effect – allowing 100% capacity of both students and staff members and a fully operational campus – the Office for International Affairs welcomes its first physical exchange cohort after two years. The cohort of students hail from the various international partners of the UFS, namely the University of Bremen in Germany, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Sciences PO Bordeaux in France. The students will be hosted in the UFS faculties of the Humanities, Economic and Management Sciences, and Natural and Agricultural Sciences, respectively.

These students have been paired with Umoja Buddy Programme ambassadors to help ensure their smooth transition and integration into student life at the UFS. Furthermore, the students received an invitation from the President of the International Student Association (ISA), Courtney Madziwa, to join their association, thus exposing them to students from other countries to learn about the various cultures.

On 18 July, the Office for International Affairs (OIA) arranged a hybrid orientation programme for the exchange students, including those students who have not yet arrived on the Bloemfontein Campus. The students took part in an icebreaker activity, where they had the opportunity to learn from and teach other participants about their home countries. Dr Cornelius Hagenmeier, Director of the OIA, welcomed the exchange students to the Bloemfontein Campus, and expressed excitement to have physical exchanges again. Furthermore, the guest presenters ranged from student leadership, staff members, and service providers. 

The presentations were practical, demonstrating, among others, how to create a password on the institutional website – presented by Mr Molemo Mohapi from UFS ICT. The presentation on how to fully utilise Blackboard was facilitated by Ms Vuthihi Mudau from the UFS CTL division. We take the safety of all our students seriously, so Ms Elise Oberholzer from the UFS Protection Services has given the students some tips on how to safeguard themselves.

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