I would like to express my gratitude for your question and share my goals and plans as the International Councillor for the upcoming year. My primary objective is to bridge the gap between international students and the local community through a series of engaging events.
Goal: My overarching goal for the year is to ensure that the majority of international students, including commuters, participate in at least one event and provide positive feedback by the end of the academic year. When international students first arrive in Toronto, they often experience feelings of homesickness, loneliness, and a lack of belonging. They may be unfamiliar with the city, its culture, and dietary practices. To address these challenges, I aim to create numerous opportunities for international students to connect, discover common ground, and form meaningful connections. This will aid in their integration into the new culture and foster a sense of belonging to Victoria College.
Moreover, there's growing concern about mental wellness, especially with the rise in university-related mental health issues. Through our events and activities, students can openly share their experiences and identify potential challenges they might encounter, allowing them to prepare proactively and minimize the impact of emergencies on their lives.
First Event: Talent Show: To kickstart our initiative, I plan to organize a talent show. Last year's Burwash Festive Dinner showcased incredible talents, such as musical performances and dance routines. However, due to various constraints, not everyone had the chance to enjoy these performances. By providing a stage for Vickies, we can encourage performers to showcase their talents while helping students discover like-minded friends. The arts are essential for the human spirit, providing solace and relaxation. Our community is rich in artistic offerings, including sculptures, paintings, theaters, and live shows. I believe that by nurturing and showcasing these talents, we can create a more vibrant Victoria College community.
International Culture Festival: Additionally, I aim to host an international culture festival at Victoria College. This event will complement the talent show by focusing on cultural diversity and respect for traditional practices. Victoria College is a diverse community with students from various countries and regions, each with its unique language, cuisine, and festivals. Through an exhibition where international students can share their culture, language, and cuisine, we can provide a platform for all Vickies to learn and broaden their horizons. The talent show can incorporate the theme of languages, enabling international students to sing songs in their native tongues, resonating with others who share the same language, and enriching our collective cultural understanding.
Continuing Successful Activities: I plan to continue hosting the Lunar New Year celebration and bubble tea chat sessions due to their popularity among students. The Lunar New Year is a significant festival in East Asia, and expanding its scale will allow all students to learn about its cultural significance, savor traditional foods, and partake in the festivities. Bubble tea chats, in collaboration with MWC, offer an effective platform for mental support and advice sharing. I intend to hold more drop-in sessions to ensure that everyone has access to these valuable activities, strengthening our community bonds and reducing the risk of potential mental health issues.
In conclusion, my vision is to host an international culture festival to provide students with more opportunities to express themselves and make new friends. Additionally, beloved activities like the Lunar New Year celebration and bubble tea chats will be retained and held regularly to further strengthen the connections among our students.
I hope this clarifies my intentions and addresses your question.