Sri Lankan students get a taste of Australian culture

Swinburne University of Technology's international students were introduced to Australian culture through a talk about quintessential Melbourne pastimes.

As part of a workshop preparing international students for the Australian job market, the students were introduced to Australian Rules football and Melbourne's iconic music culture.

"Equipping students with the kind of nuanced cultural knowledge that falls through the cracks of most induction programmes, the talk will enable them to move confidently into the city's diverse cultural life - enriching both study and social experiences along the way," said Swinburne international career consultant Olivia Doyle. "Swinburne is helping to educate international students by not only focusing on technical skills and formal qualifications, but also teaching them about broader Australian culture which will help them fit into the workplace."

Swinburne was founded by the Honourable George Swinburne in 1908. It has grown to around 30,000 students and 2,200 staff with five campuses in Melbourne and one in Sarawak, East Malaysia. Overseas students began studying at Swinburne in the 1950s.

Today, the university is home to nearly 7,000 international students from more than 80 different countries. As such, Swinburne has consistently been ranked as the best university in Melbourne for cultural diversity by the Good Universities Guide. The guide has also named Swinburne as one of the top universities in Australia for teaching quality and graduate satisfaction.

As a dual-sector institution, Swinburne offers both TAFE courses and university degrees in areas including engineering, information technology, design, business and hospitality. Swinburne's programmes are designed to expose students to real world learning situations and prepare them for life after graduation.

Swinburne recently entered the prestigious Shanghai Jiaotong university rankings for the first time, making it the first dual-sector university in Australia to be named amongst the top universities in the world. On top of this accolade, Swinburne was listed in the world's top universities according to the Times Higher Education QS World University Rankings.

To increase the university's place within world rankings, Swinburne has committed $250 million over four years to provide state-of-the-art facilities and resources for teaching and research.

As part of this initiative, a world-class research and learning hub is currently under construction at the university's Hawthorn campus. Scheduled to be completed in readiness for the 2011 academic year, the Advanced Technologies Centre will offer students new learning opportunities, housing a 24/7 undergraduate learning hub and a lecture theatre designed to seat more than 500 students.

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