Perhaps it’s heightened because of our winter or the shortened daylight, but it’s clear that the journey for international students can be a lonely one. With family often half a world away, minimal accommodations, cultural differences and perhaps a language barrier as well, it is a challenge to keep the faith in the promise this new country offered – a big reason that they came to Canada for higher education.
As a volunteer and mentor I am privileged to coach some very bright international students. Mine are the enterprising ones, with an idea or just the drive to make an impact both here and at home. They are braver than I ever was and all they need is a little support from time to time, to remember that they have a great potential. This is not a lot to ask of a mentor.
If you are looking for some way to add value and give back, become a mentor. Contact your nearest place of higher learning or youth-based organization and see how a little time nurtures the next generation of greatness.
Here’s a couple of starter ideas: http://top20under20.ca/, http://studentlife.utoronto.ca/Mentorship-Resource-Centre.htm.