A new program at Grenfell Campus is pairing international and domestic students in residence units in an effort to both celebrate diversity and promote equality.
This semester, 24 international and 24 domestic students are participating in the Global Learning Village. The students are from several countries including Canada, Belize, Ecuador, Malaysia, Mexico, South Korea and the United States.
Sense of community
Student resident advisors Ketrin Alfred and Santiago Guzman are responsible for co-ordinating programs, encouraging involvement in housing initiatives and completing one-on-one interviews with residents.
Ms. Alfred was born in Botswana and moved recently to Canada — first to Ontario, then to Newfoundland and Labrador where she is a business student at Grenfell Campus. She credits the Global Learning Village for building a strong sense of community among residents.
“It’s really great to see them communicating and learning from each other,” said Ms. Alfred. “Within the first week I, myself, learned a lot about other cultures and traditions. I still remember the day after students moved in, they all got together in the lounge and shared candies from their countries and told stories about their home country. It was amazing to see them get along so well!”
Mr. Guzman is a theatre student from Mexico. He says that having domestic and international students living together provides many informal learning opportunities.
“It is great when I get to the lounge and I am able to talk to some of the residents about what they think about living in another country and the differences they have found so far from their countries,” he said. “Obviously there are some people that are not really interested in the exchange of cultures and that is a way to learn about respect and boundaries.”
Currently, 592 students, including 23 College of the North Atlantic students, live in Grenfell’s chalets, traditional residence and the residence complex. All students who were waitlisted were offered rooms in housing at the start of the semester and a few rooms still remain available for any students who require on-campus housing.