For Victoria University (VU) Polytechnic student Kusal Yasintha, volunteering has broadened his circle of friends far beyond his Sri Lankan hometown of Colombo.
“Being an international student, I didn’t know anyone except the two friends I came here with,” Kusal says.
“So when I looked at all the clubs at VU, I came across the VU Vollies program and thought it would be a good way to get to know more people,” he says.
“VU Vollies is great because you get to make new friends, have lots of fun, learn new things and basically just enjoy university life.”
As a VU Vollie for the past nine months, Kusal has assisted in a range of activities including welcoming new students to VU and assisting at orientation events. He also took on the role of team leader at V4U, VU's award-winning volunteer day where the University gives back to the local community.
“When it comes to international students, they might feel scared that they won’t know anyone but VU gives you lots of opportunities.
“If a student has writing trouble they can get special classes, and if they need counselling there are services available too.”
Now in his second year of VU Polytechnic’s Diploma of Nursing, Kusal plans to transfer to the bachelor degree then follow a career path to become a neurologist.
“When I was looking at universities, I spoke to my friends who studied at VU and they said they lecturers are really good.
“Back in my country the teachers just come and go but here, if you have even a small problem the lecturers are really helpful.
“The tuition fees are also much better than other places – VU gives a quality of education at an affordable price.”