The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

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International Students: Roy

Hello, I’m Roy Kiruri and I am the International Students’ Officer at Bristol SU. My role is about ensuring that international students are supported and integrated into the University and city community at large. I am Kenyan and the fact that I had a thoroughly enjoyable time as an international student has fuelled my passion to ensure that all international students thrive in Bristol, both academically and more widely!

Before starting this role, I studied a bachelors in law and held several committee roles in student societies, namely Careers Secretary in the Law Club, International Students Rep in the ACS and General Secretary of the East African Society. Staying active has always been important to me, so I really enjoyed being part of sports clubs like the Swimming and Waterpolo Society in my first-year and the Muay Thai Society in my second and third years. I started to work more closely with the SU in third year, as I was the Marketing Rep in the International Students’ Network. We organised trips to cultural heritage sites (like Cheddar Gorge) and hosted hugely successful karaoke nights at the Balloon Bar, that brought together people from several cultures and walks of life!

The international student experience is so unique in the fact that no single experience exists! We’ve all been educated in different countries, grown up with different cultures and have a multitude of people in our social circles. But even with our extensive diversity, I firmly believe the University should create a feeling of ‘home away from home’ for all. That is why I will be advocating for international students’ interests to both the University and the SU, so we can create an environment that helps you (as the students) make great friendships and learn from various cultures along the way!

Ensure more part-time work opportunities for international students during their studies

Working to create a directory of employers in the city that are willing to employ international students who want to do part-time work during their studies
Consult with students to see what jobs they’re interested in during their studies 
Extend the remit of the Bristol SME Internships, to help international students get internships

Help international students secure graduate jobs after their studies

  • Lobby the University to adopt a specific policy which funds programmes for international students
  • Extend the remit of the Bristol Mentors programme, to also be available to international students
  • Promote the availability of the ‘graduate’ route visa to all international students

Mitigate the impact of high tuition fees

  •  Subsidise transport to and from airports 
  • Lobby the University to be a guarantor for students going into private accommodation 

Ensure Student Services are fit for use by international students

  • Ensuring Counselling staff have language skills, to better serve students. 
  • Advocating for better cultural competency in the Wellbeing Services & Counselling services. 
  • Establishment of an academic writing centre, to help international students manage stresses caused by lack of proficiency in academic or language skills. 

Create better cohesion between international students and home students

  • Run events that help international students better understand UK culture
  • Encourage ALL students to make use of the Global Lounge’s ‘Language Cafe’