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Diversity Ambassador Reflections: Mariane

Soon after moving to Canada from Brazil I realized that living in a new country is an educational experience like no other, each day you get to know new places, customs, food and people. However, it is also very challenging being away from family and friends, building new relationships and, of course, surpassing the language barriers. After I arrived, something that truly helped my adaptation process was participating in events organized by the college’s International Education Department, such as ice skating and going to Festival du Voyageur. During those events I not only got to experience the Canadian culture, but also got to know other students who shared the same challenges I was facing.

When signing up to become a Diversity Ambassador I saw an opportunity to proactively participate in those events that helped me when I arrived. I also wanted to be part of diversity awareness within the college community by taking part in activities that would connect newcomers with local students.

The Diversity Ambassador Program was an amazing experience. Throughout the past year I achieved the goals I established when signing up to the program, by planning and organizing college-wide events and speaking to student audiences. Some highlights were speaking to local students about what it’s like to live in another country, speaking to local high school students about what it’s like being an international college student and participating in the orientation of new international students.

Being a Diversity Ambassador helped improve my public-speaking, time-management, logical thinking and most of all, leadership skills. It was also a great opportunity for me to understand other cultures and learn from cultural-based challenges while working in multicultural teams. These are skills which will help me be successful in my future career.

This program also helped me connect with different departments within the college and its community. This was a great opportunity to know more about the college’s services. It also allowed me to make contacts and expand my social and professional networks.

As I conclude the program, I feel very happy and grateful I had this opportunity. I learned so much about what truly means to be inclusive and the importance of supporting a diverse society. The professional volunteer experience, connections and knowledge all made this a worthwhile experience!

Would you like to be one of our 2020-2021 Diversity Ambassadors? Apply online by Tuesday, May 19, 2020.