Mentorship program aims to pair international and local students
Minhyung Kim, CONTRIBUTOR
Red River College offers international and local students an opportunity to get to know each other and their cultures through the Intercultural Mentorship Program (IMP). The program is designed to help RRC international students adapt to the new school and social environment.
Gabriela Ludusan, IMP coordinator, said the program doesn’t just take place on campus, and it’s valuable to both the international and local students.
“This program provides all its participants an opportunity to go outside of their classroom and experience different things such as going to the museum, shopping and concerts,” she said. “By sharing their experiences, the Canadian participants learn to under- stand other cultures as well.”
Barrett Pineau participated in last year’s IMP and is returning to the program this year. He described the program as being eye opening.
“Living in Canada my entire life, I was stuck in a little bubble. Being able to see through someone else’s perspective is just fascinating,” he said.
Pineau’s curiosity led him to try out the program, and as he went through the program, his interest in other cultures grew.
“I even went to the Folklorama Brazilian pavilion this year so that I could learn more about my partner’s country,” he said.
Paulo Arruda also participated in the IMP last year, and he won the Making a World of Difference Award. The award, which offers $500 and a certificate as a prize, is for the IMP participants who sincerely complete their partnerships. Arruda said the key to successful relationships in the program is to keep an open mind.
“Even if you don’t find the person interesting, just be patient and enjoy the conversation. You will eventually become a good friend of him or her,” he said.
Arruda added that this program gives him the opportunity to learn about other cultures.
“This world is getting smaller every day,” he said. “We need to learn to understand people from different parts of the world. IMP is just perfect for that.”