Meet our incoming International Scholars on UBC’s Okanagan campus

by Nishat Tasnim | October 9, 2014
international scholars 2014 Okanagan campus

New International Scholars on UBC’s Okanagan campus. From left to right: Ngọc Hiếu, Roman Karki, Jasper Wyant, An Goto, and Tolga Aday.

Tuum est, incoming Scholars of 2014!

It is the beginning of another glorious academic year, and we are welcoming new members to our growing family of International Scholars on UBC’s Okanagan Campus.

These scholars have journeyed to the Okanagan from many different parts of the world. Some have done a lot of travelling and some are in Canada for the first time. In all cases, their enthusiasm and excitement for starting university life at UBC is infectious.

The bright young minds were welcomed during the 5th Annual International Student Awards Dinner on September 10 in the presence of dignitaries. The ceremony began with a welcome from Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr. Deborah Buszard followed by International Advisor Denise Chan. After a delicious dinner, Damara Klaassen, Senior Director of the International Student Initiative introduced and welcomed the incoming scholars. As proud applause ensued, we were awestruck by the stories about these students’ involvements and aspirations.

Tuum est, new scholars! We cannot wait to be part of your journey as you explore your place and promise, here at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

Let’s hear from our new Scholars on their transition to life at UBCO, and why they find themselves at home on our beautiful campus.

Ngọc Hiếu

Home: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Program: Bachelor of Science

“I am seduced by our majestic Okanagan Valley, the close-knit community, and the vast opportunities available, both inside and outside the classroom. So far, I have been privileged to meet many friendly and helpful people here on campus: Denise, Philipp, Leah, Nancy, Nishat, and others.”

Roman Karki

Home: Kathmandu, Nepal

Program: Bachelor of Arts

“I heard UBCO was a small campus but the student population of about 8,000 made me beg to differ. What I saw was a tight-knit community of 8,000 people and endless possibilities of getting involved on- and off-campus. The Environmental Science courses here were what really interested me. I want to learn about sustainability, which is a serious problem back home. In a way, UBCO feels like home because the scenery of the hills and trees reminds me of my village — a happy coincidence. My residence floor is the International Learning Community for Leadership and Civic Engagement so I am really excited to get involved and work with everyone here.”

Jasper Wyant

Home: UK

Program: Bachelor of Arts

“I’m in the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, hoping to major in International Relations. I wanted to come to UBCO because of the small and more personal community. I think it’s easy to feel detached on a huge campus. I also chose to come here because of the campus’s proximity to outdoor activities (Big White Ski Resort is just down the road). So far, my experience of UBCO has been a good one: it is really warming to jump straight into a welcoming community such as the International Scholars. The Canadian poutine is an interesting affair, but I think one of the highlights has been going to the downtown beach area at night; it’s so beautiful.”

An Goto

Home: Bali, Indonesia

Program: Bachelor of Science

“I am planning to major in Chemistry. I chose UBCO because I believed that the learning environment that is provided on this campus is similar to where I come from. In addition, I enjoy outdoor activities and thought that I would like to challenge my physical abilities even more by learning winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Furthermore, being in a small campus where members in the community know each other well will definitely allow me to seek ways in which I can further develop my leadership skills and contribute to the UBC community. I have finally settled myself well in Kelowna and have got used to how various systems work at UBCO. One of the most exciting experiences that I had since I arrived to Kelowna was when I went to see the rodeo during JumpStart Orientation Week.”

Kim Tien Nguyen (KT)

Home: Pleiku, Vietnam

Program: Bachelor of Sciences (majoring in Mathematics)

“As a nature lover, this environment certainly offers me good healthy breaks from the books and lectures that give me motivation and refreshments for body and mind. Having grown up in a mountainous area and in a small community, I believe that the Okanagan campus is a perfect choice for me to blend in and experience university life. The moment I first set foot on the campus, I fell in love with it. Beautiful mountains, fresh air, green trees, and friendly people make me feel like I’m home. I’ve been taking several second-year courses and felt a little bit overwhelmed due to the workload and contents. However, thanks to extremely helpful and lovely professors and classmates, I’m gradually getting the hang of it. During JumpStart Orientation Week, I was able to see a rodeo, which was something that I had never experienced nor known of. I’m thankful for the opportunity to be in UBCO and meet amazing people.”