A helping hand for exchange students
by Katrina Phelps
(photo courtesy of Study Adelaide).
UniSA staff member and graduate, Eric Ho, is using his experience of being an international student in Adelaide to benefit other overseas students.
The Information Analyst with UniSA’s Planning and Institutional Performance group, moved to Adelaide from Singapore in 2002 to study at UniSA’s Magill campus. And he fell in love with the city, as well as his now wife who was also studying here, and together they decided to stay in Adelaide.
For the past year, Ho has been involved with the EF Foundation for Foreign Study as an International Exchange Coordinator, helping to find volunteer host families for overseas high school students to board with during their time in South Australia.
“I had a very good experience as an international student living and studying in Australia and I want other students to share this valuable experience too,” Ho said.
“It’s also a rewarding experience for the host family to have a student from overseas stay with them. It gives them a chance to learn about different cultures and results in long-term international friendships.
“Personally I really enjoy meeting students from different countries and getting to understand their culture too.
“They often ask me questions about UniSA campuses, courses and programs. Having studied here and also working here now, I enjoy being an ambassador for the University.
“I also get to travel around and meet different host families in all different areas in South Australia.”
Ho completed his Bachelor and Master of Business Information System after being offered a scholarship with the UniSA Business Information System Cooperative Program, two years into his original Bachelor of Computing and Multimedia.
“The Bachelor and Master of Business Information System provided valuable real-world employment experiences including three industry placements,” Ho said.
“I have now worked with UniSA for three years, coordinating the University’s reporting requirements on student and evaluations data. I also investigate, identify, develop and roll out standard reports to the University community using business intelligence reporting tools.”
As for his volunteer job, Ho highly recommends the experience of getting involved with the EF Foundation.
“We are always looking for families in South Australia who might be interested in volunteering as a host family to welcome an exchange student into their homes for an academic year or a semester,” he said.