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Two students posing for photo at college party event

Social events and activities

The stuff you'll remember long after your studies
We celebrate the enormous wealth of cultural knowledge in the house through an extensive program of celebrations, mini-festivals, and showcase events.

A day in the life of an international student at International House

Our residents play an important part in shaping the cultural life of International House through IHMA (International House Members' Association) with support from the house staff. Highlights in our calendar include formal dinners, food fairs, concerts and guest speakers. Our diversity ensures our community events are always respectful and welcoming.

Events to pencil in to your calendar

International Night, or I-Night as it is commonly called, is a cultural showcase drawing on residents’ talents in performing arts. Residents work together to create entertaining acts which are based on a theme of national culture. 

Common formats include dance, music, video, and a fashion show, but residents can be as creative and original as they like (martial arts demonstration, anyone?). Check out our photo gallery from last year.

Food Fair is a major event on the International House calendar. Participating residents showcase their national cuisines by decorating their stall and cooking up a feast for other residents, invited guests and alumni. 

Each team's food is scored by guest judges, and prizes are awarded for best food, best costumes, and decorations.

This formal dinner brings the entire residential community together to commence the academic year. Before the meal, residents representing each culture in the house participate in the flag ceremony (practised in International Houses all over the world), reciting a pledge in their national language as a commitment to the virtues of international understanding and friendship: "As we have come to live in International House with people from many lands, we pledge ourselves to support the aim that understanding and peace may prevail.”

Candlelight Ceremony involves residents of the many cultures living at International House lighting a candle to symbolise passing the light of international understanding, and the recitation of the following pledge:

"As light begets light, so love, friendship, and goodwill are passed from one to another. We who come from many nations to live in fellowship in International House, promise one another to pass the light wherever we go."

The ceremony is accompanied by a formal three-course dinner and dessert, with many residents taking the opportunity to wear the traditional dress of their country or culture.

The harbour cruise around Darling Harbour is the first event of the International House Members' Association (IHMA) calendar, during which residents dress up and enjoy a fun and classy night away from the house. IHMA provides canapés, an open bar, and a DJ, and residents enjoy an open roof for picturesque views of the harbour, with plenty of opportunities to mingle. Check out the photo gallery from 2018's event.

Stargazing is organised in association with the Macarthur Astronomical Society and involves a day trip to the house's log cabin in the Belanglo State Forest (about 140km south-west of Sydney). Constructed by alumni and residents in the late 1970s, the log cabin is available for residents to book for occasional visits. Bushwalking and group activities are combined with a stunning astronomical presentation after sundown from the Macarthur Astronomical Society, whose members supply a range of telescopes through which residents may gaze at the stars.

The annual ball, hosted by IHMA in semester two, marks the culmination of our residents' year at University. With fine dining in an iconic venue, the event is a highlight for all residents as they celebrate with friends, food and awards. Check out our photo gallery of 2015's event held in Doltone House at Darling Harbour! 

Between our compulsory workshops, IHMA runs heaps of events ranging from parties, movie nights, games nights and our famous Amazing Race. The aim of the week is to help residents settle in to University life and make new friends.

Faculty Dinners are a series of networking events designed to help residents meet academics and industry professionals within their chosen fields of study. The annual dinners are held on-site at International House. 

At International House I don't feel like I have to be conformed to a certain stereotype. It's really up to you what you want to do and people respect that. You are what you are.
Anna Kothary, Singapore