Even though the unpredictable British weather was not on our side this year, Aston Welcome 2012 still proved to be as successful as ever – with a wide range of activities on offer, our great student helpers (including Academic Arrival Guides and Aston Aunties) who work tirelessly to provide help and support to our new students and our dedicated members of staff who were there to enrol, welcome and help our new students.
International Orientation had its usual mix of academic sessions, formal welcomes and social activities including a welcome from the Pro-Vice Chancellor, an International Student Reception and the Salsa class, which returned after a hugely successful year in 2011. They were also able to get to know the City by taking part in a walking tour and/or the bus tours, find out about the services available at Aston at the Information Markets and take part in our Life in the UK quiz.
The Meet and Greet Service at Birmingham Airport was extended this year to 8am – 10pm Saturday and Sunday and 10am – 4pm on Monday, which meant the Aunties were able to meet even more students and move them into their accommodation. During the day the International Helpdesk was the heart of all activity. We had table football, air hockey and table tennis all set up for use by Freshers and Aunties, which resulted in some quite fierce competitions! In addition the International Helpdesk was where the students could sign up for all the trips and activities we put on for them. These daytime trips ranged from Laser Quest to Cadbury World and a new trip to Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, and these all sold out. We ensured that all night time events had food on offer, and all were very well attended with students particularly enjoying World Music Night and the annual Aston’s Got Talent. International Orientation Week, as always, had a fantastic buzz and a very welcoming atmosphere, which makes it well-loved by Freshers and Aunties alike!
Freshers’ Week was also very successful this year, with more people than ever pre-ordering their wristband for the week. Particular highlights were the UV bubble party and the Fancy Dress FaceOff.We also put on some alternative events this year, specifically aimed at those students who do not wish to attend large student parties, to give them an opportunity to mingle and meet fellow new students. We had a film night, a quiz night and a games and pizza night, all of which were very well received. We are looking to continue these in the future.
Aston Welcome was a huge success and planning has already started to make 2013 even better!