Creating global connections through campus community

Celebrating the Chinese New Year with the International Peer Community.

Finding your place in university is one of the most difficult things about being a student, especially when Canada isn’t your native home. The University of Waterloo is home to more than 6,600 international students from more than 120 countries and we at UWaterloo strive to make the transition for international students as easy as possible. 

One of the great resources that the school provides for both international and domestic students is the International Peer Community. This community isn’t just a great opportunity for international students; it is worthwhile for everyone involved.

I had the opportunity to speak to a community leader and a general member of IPC to gain different perspectives on why this program is an amazing opportunity for students of all backgrounds. Here are four ways that engaging with the international community can better your university life! 

1. Making new friends

The International Peer Community is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. They host exciting events throughout the semester where you will be able to grow meaningful relationships while having fun. Being able to enter a broader community will allow you to expand your social network and form worthwhile connections that last a lifetime. 

The IPC meeting on campus.

“People in IPC are friendly and nice. I made some very close friends in IPC and that really helped me when I was homesick.” - Daniel Yang, general IPC member.

2. Learning about different cultures 

One of the great results of being more involved in the international community is the ability to learn about different cultures. It gives international students a chance to learn more about the Canadian culture and helps the volunteers learn more about the members’ cultures. It’s an enriching experience in which you can learn more about the world through your peers! 

“Moving to an entirely new country that has a different culture can be quite overwhelming if you haven’t experienced that before. If students require such support, they should join IPC to help them with their exposure to a new nation, culture and people.” – Ritika Bhargo, Community Leader.

3. Improving your interpersonal skills 

Joining IPC not only helps international students, but the volunteers as well. There will be a lot of time for you to build your communication skills because you are constantly meeting new people and engaging with peers from all over the world.  

“IPC has really helped me in improving and building my existing skills such as: communication, listening, problem-solving, mentoring, and event planning.” - Ritika Bhargo, Community Leader

4. Making long-lasting memories 

Members of the IPC meeting on campus.IPC serves as an amazing stage for new and fun opportunities. Past events include dodgeball games, paint nights, rock climbing, potlucks and even simple gatherings such as study sessions! 

“We helped each other. We went to group activities together. We really enjoyed being together!" – Daniel Yang, general IPC member. 

Whether you are an international student, an exchange student, a graduate or undergraduate, the IPC can be your doorway to becoming more involved on campus. If you’d like to get more involved with the community, the International Peer Community is a great place to start. 
 

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