Intercultural Mentorship Program Building International Friendships
By Sheyanne Bruyere
Last year, intercultural mentor Lance Neubauer took two Brazilian students to their very first hockey game.
“As a person of faith and seeing people not have a way to go, my calling is to reach out and help,” Neubauer said.
For 14 years, The Intercultural Mentorship Program at Red River College (RRC) has helped make the campus more friendly and inclusive by pairing immigrant/international students with Canadian-raised student mentors.
“The program makes a huge impact when [students] get here, it sticks,” Neubauer said
Neubauer, 34, a Canadian-raised Continuing Education student, has volunteered for the last two years as a Local Mentor. He recently won a Making a World of Difference Scholarship Award from RRC for his commitment and efforts in the program.
The goal of the program is to help students build friendships and learn about different cultures.
International student Paulo Arruda said participating in the program for three terms was one of the best decisions he made at college.
“I made three new friends who [I] have so many things in common [with], but also different perspectives and opinions,” Arruda said. “They helped me manage the stressful life of an immigrant and even after graduation I still hang out with them.”
Arruda strongly recommends students participate to help develop, embrace and understand different perspectives.
Business student Hee Ra Ahn, 24, has been volunteering as a mentor at the Notre Dame Campus (NDC) for the last three academic terms.
“I wanted to see how others lived and I wanted to learn about Canadian culture,” Ahn said. “It helped me to step out of the box to meet new people as I was not that energetic of a person who goes to meet new people. Now it is easier for me to meet and talk to new people.”
Ahn said the program is always looking for more students to volunteer.
For more information about the Intercultural Mentorship Program or how to apply, visit the Students Association Office (NDC − CM20 or EDC − P110) or apply online at www.rrc.ca/imp.