An evening with the International Mentorship Program

Curry saucesBellies got full at the Himalayan Peak, located at the Cornerstone, for the International Mentorship Program’s annual appreciation dinner on Friday, March 26, 2010. Volunteers were treated with at least five different types of curry at the buffet and a rich selection of dessert.

Buffet

We kept flocking to the buffet all night.

All mentors, team leaders and program coordinators were present at the event. Each team performed a five-minute sketch or song showing their enthusiasm and commitment to the program in front of an amused audience of peers. The acts were followed by student advisor Rohene Bouajram and volunteer coordinator Helen Chang, who each gave a speech on the benefits of getting involved and on how rewarding their job is to them.

Helen Chang

Helen Chang spoke about the importance of volunteers to the IMP.

“Over the past year, many of the International Mentorship Program volunteers have grown and we have been fortunate enough to be a part of this leadership experience, ” Helen commented. She continued, “the program has been running for almost a decade and every year we realize how much volunteers are and have been the lifeblood of the Mentorship Program.”

Rohene Bouajram

Rohene Bouajram talked about her own experiences as an international student.

I have found volunteering with the International Mentorship Program to be one of the most rewarding volunteer positions I could hope for. You get to mentor foreign students and help them adjust to life in Vancouver, as well as attend recreational events and workshops. At the end, you make great friends from various cultural backgrounds, acquire leadership skills and volunteer experiences, and finish off the school year knowing that you made a positive difference in someone’s life.

From my personal experiences, joining the mentorship program was a very fulfilling experience. I mentored three students from China, all of whom were very easy to become friends with, and whom I learned the Chinese language and customs from. That is not to mention all the fun we had at places like the haunted houses at Playland and the Origami club.

For more information about how you too can get involved, drop by the SFU International Office at the Maggie Benston Centre (right below the bookstore), or visit their website.

By Jamal Saad