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Office for International Students and Scholars VESTA INITIATIVES = Welcome and Intercultural activities VESTA? Quid? • Vesta refers to the Roman Goddess of the hearth fire. In the Roman Vesta-Temple, the Vestal Virgins had to maintain the eternal fire. • VESTA at K.U.Leuven stands for: welcoming international guests and make them feel at home: the fire of hospitality. Vesta Committee • The Vesta-Initiatives are taken by a Committee, composed of: colleagues of the Social Services for international students (housing, social service), some International Programme Co-ordinators, the person responsible for of the international students associations and for Pangaea (our international meeting centre). • For, myself, I’m the co-ordinator of VESTA Vesta Initiatives 1. Orientation Days for new International Students & Scholars (Sep & Feb) 2. Buddy Programme 3. Follow-up Activities during the Academic Year for students: information & intercultural sessions 4. Intercultural Training Programme for K.U.Leuven staff 1. Orientation Days - Welcome Day: welcome speech, information fair, guided tours, lecture on the history of K.U.Leuven & Belgium - Practical Day: sessions on ‘Living in Leuven’, ‘Traffic Rules’, ‘Computer Facilities’, ‘Student Employment’, ‘Health Insurance’, ‘Dutch Survival Kit’ etc. - Intercultural Day: sessions on our culture, intercultural games, sports activities - Weekend Trips to Bruges 2. Buddy Programme • Sometimes called ‘tandem-programme’: International Students can ask for a Flemish buddy in order to be helped during their first weeks and months to bring the Flemish and the International Community closer in contact to learn about each other’s culture 3. Orientation Days Follow-up • Session on Culture Shock • Session on Examination Regulations • …. (activities (trips, St-Nicholas or Christmas Parties …) organised by Pangaea, International Contact Club and by the associations) 4. Intercultural Training Programme for Personnel K.U.Leuven • Sessions on Intercultural Awareness for international officers • Workshops on intercultural diversity for residence-employees (technical and maintenance staff) • Information Sessions: presentation of the several services and their staff working with and for international guests; a session on the English Language Tests (Toefl, IELTS) • China Day etc.
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