Staying Connected: SFU Refugees and Newcomers Program (RNP) Lunch Social

May 05, 2020

In the face of physical distancing requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world are making efforts to connect with one another and ensure social distancing does not mean social isolation. Last week, SFU Refugees and Newcomers Programs and the Centre for Comparative Muslim Studies (CCMS) hosted a lunch for World University Services of Canada (WUSC) students to connect and socialize over Zoom while practicing physical distancing. Students may be isolated, but we want to ensure  they are not alone.

The event additionally helped support local businesses, as guests were delivered meals from various restaurants in their own neighbourhoods.

Wafaa Zaqout, Program Coordinator, remarked: “The event went very well and the students were very excited to get together even virtually. I still recall their laughter and teasing to each other!”

The Refugees and Newcomers Programs (RNP) is a support service for SFU students who identify as refugees or newcomers, provided by SFU International Services for Students (ISS). SFU also partners with World University Services of Canada (WUSC) to directly sponsor refugee students via the Student Refugee Program (SRP). The goal of the RNP is to mitigate or eliminate the barriers a student with a refugee background might encounter during their SFU experience to support their well-being and their learning. Adjusting to a new country and a different learning environment can be very challenging; therefore, RNP offers a variety of services through case-management, holistic approach that include settlement support,  orientation and connection to different resources within SFU, such as academic advising; tutoring service, health and counselling services, spiritual support, financial aid, career and volunteer services support and social and other fun and social activities that offered within ISS.

For more information about SFU’s Refugee & Newcomer program, visit or contact by email at