UBC cares for its students coming from overseas.
After 30 hours of flying from her hometown of Harare, Zimbabwe, Rutendo thought she’d have to navigate her new country, new university, and new accommodation all by herself. Instead, she was met by friendly residence advisors who helped her settle in, and a week-long orientation program to ensure she had all the essentials ready in Canada before her first day of classes. Now in her third year, Rutendo is excelling academically, and is well on her way towards achieving her dream of becoming an electrical engineer.
Why did you choose UBC?
I fell in love with UBC after attending a university fair with several prestigious and esteemed universities. It was the scenic campus, the idea of living next to a beach, and being part of such a diverse inclusive community that made UBC appealing. UBC students aim to thrive academically, but are also equipped for the world. You can take your learning outside the classroom through opportunities such as international exchanges, and the co-op program, where you gain experience in your field. The more I found out about UBC, the more I realized how much I really wanted to go there.
How did the UBC community make you feel welcome?
UBC cares for and accommodates its international students. I arrived on campus for the first time at 3:00 a.m. after more than 30 hours of flying. I thought I had to figure out everything by myself. However, I was welcomed by my residence advisors who showed me to my room and helped me settle down. It’s the sense of community and planning that transformed my dream school into my second home.
What supports and services have you experienced at UBC?
Jump Start, which is a week-long orientation program, gave me the perfect start to the university. It prepared me and helped me tick off all the essentials on my to-do list. Through Jump Start workshops and speaking to Jump Start leaders, I successfully planned for the year ahead. Once my first summer started, the Centre for Student Involvement and Careers was a great help in securing my first job. It helped me with job hunting and got me prepared for interviews.
Have you participated in a work experience, volunteering, or study abroad opportunity through UBC? If so, how have they contributed to your experience?
I am part of UBC Unmanned Aircraft systems, which is an engineering team that designs and builds drones. Design teams are another way to take your learning outside of the classroom and interact with like-minded intellectual individuals with similar interests. It exposes you to various companies and gives you access to amazing mentors.
What would you say to prospective students who are considering attending UBC?
I had a four-year plan coming into UBC, which included studying Biomedical Engineering. However, here I am in my third year of my five-year program studying Electrical Engineering, because I joined the co-op program and my interests changed. UBC is a great place to rediscover yourself and explore different life paths. Ensure the exploration process is full of excitement and adventure, and do not allow yourself to be frustrated because your plans keep evolving.