November 2015

Building a global community on campus

November 13, 2015 • Written by
Margarita Natcheva (centre) with RRC students.

Margarita Natcheva (centre) with RRC students.

It is a true fact that Red River College is a global community. We are diverse, yet similar. We are a mosaic of students, staff and faculty from many different backgrounds and cultures, working together to celebrate diversity and cultivate a globally minded campus. Through different events and programs on campus, we give the opportunity for students and staff to deepen their understanding of the value of cultural diversity and to live together better.

In my role as an Immigrant Student Advisor, I get the privilege to interact with students from Canada and around the world and to listen to their stories. I walk into the Diversity Centre at lunch time and I see students having discussions, conversations, working on a class project or simply sharing a lunch together.

Here is what Fred Coque, an international student from Brazil has to say about the Diversity Centre: “I use the Centre daily to study, have lunch, and relax with my classmates.  It’s an amazing place where people from different cultures can have a great time together in a friendly and respectful atmosphere”.

I fondly remember my experience as an international student in the U.S. I made friends from around the world and I had invaluable conversations. I definitely learned about the world, but also about myself. To develop global competency in our students, we need to provide an educational experience which advances knowledge and understanding.

When I asked Shriya Bansal, Technology Management student from India, about visiting the Centre, she shared: “Diversity Centre is a beautiful room where we can sit, prepare for our tests, have lunch, relax, and talk with friends. It’s clean, colorful, and always welcoming. I like it most because we have met some wonderful people from the Diversity department.”

Red River College provides opportunities to celebrate diversity and discover commonalities between students. A good way for students to learn about each other is during conversations and interactions.

Here is Jia Bao Lu’s perspective about his experience at the Diversity Centre. Jia Bao Lu is an international student from China: “Diversity Centre is our home.  As an international student, I feel more comfortable to stay here and hang out with my friends.  It is significant to recognize that in this room, we come from different countries and regions.  We respect peers, staff and we keep conversations at a reasonable level. It would be nice to see more activities where students get the chance to learn about each other.”

For those of you who have not been at the Diversity Centre, please come in and check it out at D208 Notre Dame Campus. Everyone is welcome. It is a gathering place for all students to meet with others from around the world and share stories and experience. The Centre provides a unique multicultural space to build positive connections and community at the college.

Written by Margarita Natcheva, Immigrant Student Advisor, Diversity and Intercultural Services.