When international students start off their first year at UTM, the International Student Resource Centre pairs them with upper-year students or mentors through its buddy program.
According to the ISRCs website, the programs objective is to bring friends together. Veronica Vasquez, one of the organizers for the centres events this semester, said that the buddy-program and its events are a great opportunity for first-year international students and their mentors to connect and build social networks in a safe and fun environment.
With the core objectives of the buddy-program in mind to motivate and assist international students with building a cohesive university culture, Anisha Sharma, the ISRC buddy-program liaison, arranged a get-together for a group of international students and their mentors at Classic Bowl and a group dinner.
Students were so happy and many of them were going bowling for the first time. Most would expect the mood to be tarnished by the torrential downpours last Friday evening, which soaked the students during their bus trip to the bowling arena, but in fact the soaking was a fun part of the entire process, said Simran Khanna, one of the attendees at the get-together.
Despite the uncertainty of the weather, Sonal Castelino, an upper-year mentor with the centres program, explained the reasoning behind this years bowling activity and remarked that the activity was an ideal opportunity to put to practice one of the buddy-programs visceral principles of teamwork and trust. Pairing up the students in small groups of bowling teams encouraged everyone to interact and talk and work with one another in a safe and comfortable manner, said Castelino.
The Buddy Programs bowling event was a great opportunity for students to explore Mississauga outside the campus and I think they really cherished the experience, said ISRC co-coordinator Harpreet Randhawa.
The bowling get-together was one of the many events organized by the International Student Resource Centre, a service provided by UTM Student Affairs for international and internationally-minded students. Its objective is to offer crucial services such as the Buddy Program, Global Café, Lets Talk Turkey and peer-advisory office hours.