Many nationalities come to SIT O-Week

SIT's O-Week a multicultural event

GWYNETH HYNDMAN
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2013
Mayor Tim Shadbolt greets Nikhil Rajan
ROBYN EDIE/Fairfax NZ
WELCOME: Mayor Tim Shadbolt greets Nikhil Rajan, from India, at the Southern Institute of Technology powhiri and speeches to mark the beginning of the O-Week celebrations on Monday.

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The Southern Institute of Technology had put Invercargill on the cutting edge of a multicultural society, Mayor Tim Shadbolt said at the opening of the 2013 Orientation "O-Week" yesterday.

When SIT began 41 years ago, a census showed there were only four Chinese and two Indians in Invercargill - a marked change from this month when the SIT campus was alive with activity until 2am for the anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence day, he said.

Michael Li, one of the hundreds of students gathered for the O-Week opening, said he came from Beijing to Invercargill in 2011 to study architectural technology.

He agreed that Invercargill was a multicultural city, with plenty to offer at SIT in the way of sports he enjoyed like table tennis.

Mr Li said he wanted to stay in New Zealand when his degree was finished but he thought he might go to Christchurch next year.

Year 2 sport and exercise student Angus Swartz said he would have gone to the United States if is was not for SIT's zero fees scheme.

Originally from Wellington, Mr Swartz said another draw to the city was the low cost of living and, as a competitive cyclist, the velodrome.

O-Week activities continue until Friday. Festivities at the Tay St campus today begin at noon and include an obstacle course, a "Fear Factor" food competition, a tug of war, gumboot throwing, "dig for the pig", Weet-Bix eat off, music and barbecue.

gwyneth.hyndman@stl.co.nz

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