University groups help integrate students through nature
by Caleb Workman
The Lance – News Editor
International students at UWindsor had multiple opportunities this summer to learn more about the area a lot of them are preparing to spend the rest of their lives in.
In the latest “Summer at the Parks” trip Aug. 25, students from International Student Centre, the International Student Society, the Volunteer International Student Assistance and guests visited Canada’s most southern point – Point Pelee. The trip, hosted by the I.S.C. included a walk through the park, pictures at the point and a sense of seeing what Canada’s parks have to offer.
Priyanka Jaggi, student president of the I.S.C. and one of the event coordinators, said the trip was just as much about making new friends as it was about seeing the park.
“A lot of people don’t know about Point Pelee and how it is the southernmost part of Canada, so it’s what we’re here to see and something I’m hoping the students will find interesting,” said Jaggi. “It’s also a good chance to make friends from different ethnicities here.”
Jaggi said they have been making trips throughout the summer and the program itself has been going on for a few years. A few of the other visits this summer were to Jackson Park, Willistead Park and Ojibway Park.
“The trip is not just for international students though and that is something we are trying to publicize to the domestic students,” said Jaggi. “With these trips we are trying to introduce international and domestic students. Our events and outings are not just for international students.”
Jaggi said the I.S.C. was very happy with the turnouts throughout the summer but she would like to see more domestic students getting involved with the activities and making friends from new countries.
“I’m really glad I was able to make it out and meet new people who are now my friends,” said Icha Hassani, a second year biochemistry student and a volunteer for the day from the ISC. “It’s not the sunniest of days but I’m still able to enjoy it with friends, new and old.”
Many of the students commented on having fun making new friends throughout the day and the other trips held earlier that summer.
One student said she had never seen the great lakes before even though she is going into her second year of schooling at UWindsor.
“I’ve heard of the Great Lakes from text books and seen pictures of them but I’ve never gotten to experience the lakes in person,” said Ling Luo, a human resources student and a volunteer from V.I.S.A.
Luo and the other V.I.S.A. members present all agreed the trip was a good day for them to come out as a group and get to know each other because they were going to spend the year working together.
Coordinator of V.I.S.A., Amy Bui said since it was the last day of the park visits and a lot of local students, such as herself, haven’t been to Point Pelee let alone the international students in the group, they decided to take full advantage of the day.
“So far we’ve done a marsh walk where we got to see a lot of plants none of us has ever seen before and we did a lot of photo shoots too, definitely some selfies involved,” said Bui. “We were also able to speak with the guide and learn a lot about the different insects and life in the park.”
Bui said for herself and a lot of students present there from other countries, or even just the city, there are a lot of things they would have never learned or been exposed to without a trip like this available. She said the country life of Canada and the city life are very contrasting and a lot of the students will cherish the trips they had here.
Throughout the day the students saw see the sights and the wildlife of Point Pelee, tried out the different excursions around the park and ended the day with a ride back to Windsor together.
For more information on the I.S.C., the I.S.S., V.I.S.A. or the “Summer at the Parks” program check out their pages on uwindsor.ca