International students return to Grampians through Beyond Melbourne program | The Stawell Times-News

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Grampians Tourism will work with Beyond Melbourne to attract thousands of newly arrived international students each year to connect them to authentic nature-based and cultural tourism experiences in Grampians. The program aims to enhance students’ study experience while they spend four to five years learning at universities. This means unique visitors and unique visitor experiences in the Grampians region. Grampians Tourism managing director Marc Sleeman said in April he had been privileged to welcome the first group of international students to the Grampians area since March 2020 over the weekend and celebrated a partnership with Joel Thompson and Beyond Melbourne. “This visit included 50 university-aged international students from 16 different nationalities and languages, representing 14 different university campuses across Victoria,” he said. “This amazing program was made possible by the Victorian Governments International Education Short Term Stimulus Fund and was fully implemented and facilitated by Beyond Melbourne with a focus on connecting to nature and our important cultural experience. “It was wonderful to have Paul Kelly deliver a Welcome to the country and help educate our international visitors about our important Indigenous history. “This was an important step in the recovery for our destination and every student really enjoyed learning about our amazing First Nations ‘Gariwerd’ culture.” Mr Sleeman said Beyond Melbourne’s international programs were innovative and student-led. “They bring together international students and regional tourism organizations to plan and participate in cultural explorations in the Victoria region,” he said. “The programs build student confidence, cultural competence and promote the development of key employability skills such as leadership, communication, creativity and collaboration.” In 2019, Grampians Tourism partnered with OutBeyond in a new initiative to increase visitation to the area. OutBeyond’s Beyond Melbourne Ambassadors project is designed to bring hundreds of international students studying at Melbourne universities around the region to participate in outdoor, nature-based cultural explorations.

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