Enhancing the international experience

A heart and "ICSN" on a Canadian flag.

New Feds service launches to support international students

Guest blog by Kenneth Chu Sam

Studying abroad is one of the most exciting experiences you can have; arriving at a new city, absorbing its vibe and assimilating into its culture is part of a fun and energizing journey, but it does not come without its challenges. Incoming international and exchange students at the University of Waterloo often find themselves seeking more peer support and local interaction with local students.

After recognizing this problem, Kristen Bonney, Sarah Vaselenak and Kenneth Chu Sam founded the International and Canadian Student Network (ICSN) as a Federation of Students club in winter 2014. The purpose of the club was to bridge the gap between exchange, international and Canadian students on campus.

ICSN has been organizing events and providing opportunities for students to make new friends. It has also given them the opportunity to discover things “typically Canadian” in the process. Some of the activities from the previous term include visiting the Maple Syrup Festival in Elmira, going skiing and snowboarding at Chicopee, and mingling at the Babble Cafés in the Grad House, which offer students the chance to hone their language skills.

ICSN was transformed into a Federation of Students’ service in the spring 2014 term, after Feds recognized its potential to serve and empower undergraduates. With Kristen and Kendra Tobin as service coordinators (along with a team of capable executives), the ICSN will be working towards enhancing and enriching student life at Waterloo, and looking to become an established part of the international University of Waterloo adventure.

The ICSN welcomes anyone who is looking for a great experience at Waterloo beyond academics and beyond borders. For volunteer opportunities and more information visit the Feds website and International and Canadian Student Network Facebook page

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