Swansea students shine in International Student Awards 2008
Their inspirational accounts of student life have won two students from Swansea University top accolades in the UK’s biggest competition for international students.
Chinese student Shilin Wang’s story of student life in Swansea resulted in him being named the Welsh International Student of the Year 2008.
The 22-year-old Business and Economics student, who is also a committed volunteer with Discovery Student Volunteering at the University, joined 12 other regional winners in London last week, to have their extraordinary achievements honoured at a glittering awards ceremony.
Shilin said: "Swansea University is great place not only for academic study but also for the activities outside the campus. The people are very friendly; it reminds me of the place I came from in south east China, which is also next to the ocean like Swansea."
Chinese student Yin Qian, who studies Media and Communication at Swansea University, was a regional runner up in the competition, and she also travelled to London for the awards ceremony.
Yin said: "I appreciate this great chance to study in the UK and have enjoyed the time I’ve spent in Swansea. It is a great honour to be a runner-up in the International Student Awards."
Richard Nyuur, from Ghana, also received a Highly Commended award for his entry letter and was one of only 33 students to be awarded this special recognition.
He said: "I am thrilled and honoured to have my life experiences in the UK recognised by this award. I see it as a testament of the need for international students to get involved in enhancing other students’ welfare and the welfare of the people in the communities in which we find ourselves.
"The award also serves as motivation to continue serving the community through the countless opportunities open to international students at Swansea University and in the UK."
Shilin, Yin, and Richard were among more than 1,500 students, representing 127 nationalities, to enter the sixth annual International Student Awards – a major initiative from the British Council that aims to shine the spotlight firmly on international students and their contributions to life in the UK.
In a bid to take home a prize, students studying at universities, colleges of further and higher education, schools and English language institutions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales shared stories about the extra-curricular achievements that illustrate how they are making the most of their time in the UK.
To enter, each student was asked to write a personal ‘letter home’ in English, detailing the out-of-class achievements that help make their time in the UK so rewarding.
A judging panel met last month to discuss the merits of shortlisted entries from the region, and Shilin’s letter was judged to be Wales’s best and he received a £1,000 prize.
Christine Watson, Manager of Discovery Student Volunteering at Swansea University said: "Shilin has been a delightful volunteer with Discovery. Being enthusiastic to learn about the culture of life here is Swansea, he has diligently volunteered on projects that have involved him in the real Swansea – meeting and working to assist local people in need."
"The British Council knows that international students make a huge contribution and commitment to life in the UK," added Martin Davidson, Chief Executive of the British Council.
"This competition provides a fantastic opportunity for them to earn some well-deserved public recognition for their achievements – a great chance for them to show the world what they’ve achieved while living and learning in the UK."