New team created to support international students at SAIT

The new ambassador: SAIT International Student Engagement Co-ordinator Akua Anim, on Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. Anim discussed the new International Student Ambassadors program in an interview in the Stan Grad Centre. (Photo by Terry Fru/The Press)

The SAIT International Student Centre is introducing a new student leadership initiative on campus this fall, the international student ambassadors.

The international student ambassadors will be international students whose job will be to support new and continuing international students throughout their journey at SAIT.

“It’s not easy being an international student,” Akua Anim, SAIT’s international student engagement co-ordinator, said in an interview.

Anim developed the initiative as she was once an international student and understands the hurdles and struggles students face when they come here from other countries.

Not everyone is able to battle these hurdles on their own, so Anim came up with the idea of providing a support system for people walking a similar path.

“The two main roles of the ambassadors are peer-to-peer support and event planning assistance,” said Anim.

The ambassadors have to organize activities, such as peer-to-peer support, not just to students in Canada, but also pre-arrival in Canada.

Ambassadors will also help plan and run things like the Global café. This is a weekly event, where students from varying countries will meet and share their various cultures, promoting cultural diversity at SAIT.

“I feel this initiative is needed,” said Veronika Gruszková, one of SAIT’s international student ambassadors.

“SAIT is getting more and more international students and not all of them enjoy being alone.”

Many of these students want to be part of the community, however, without programs such as these,  they wouldn’t be able to.

Gruszková believes that being an ambassador will make it easier and more comfortable for international students because the ambassadors are students like them.

“I hope I will make a difference,” said Gruszková.

The two main roles of the ambassadors are peer-to-peer support and event planning assistance. – Akua Anim

Gruszkova hopes to help international students feel more welcomed and create a bridge between students and the international centre, encouraging students to use the resources provided available.

“The ambassadors will help us reflect and improve on our services,” said Zuzana Ritzer, SAIT’s international support team lead.

She said the ambassadors will provide feedback from the international student community and this will help the international center in day to day support of the international student population.