Students talk about their volunteer experiences

Submitted and written by Carrie Jung,
Instructor in the English for Academic Purposes
Capilano University
Photos by Richard Berwick • Videotaping by Hugh Soulis • Interviews by Vilien Chen
Video editing and layout by Nila Gopaul

Capilano University
Capilano University is located in North Vancouver.
Many students from different countries
come to this university to study.
Some students come to study English
in a program called “English for Academic Purposes” (EAP). [pullquote]For Feras, doing volunteer work is very important.
He says that if you help
other people, one day,
other people will help you.[/pullquote]

Students in the EAP program
The students in the EAP program
must join special activities,
go to workshops outside of their classes,
or do volunteer work.
These kinds of activities are called Community Engagement.
They help students meet new people and enjoy new experiences.

Activities for students
Some of these activities take place at the university.
For example, in September,
there is a Student Orientation meeting
to give information about student life at the university.
In October, to celebrate Halloween,
students can go to the university Halloween party.
They can also go to Student Success workshops
to learn tips about studying.
Watch students’ videos on the next page!

Volunteer work
Students can do volunteer work in many places,
such as community centres, cultural festivals, or daycare centres.
Some students volunteer by helping other students.

Sanaz and Daryah are two EAP students.
Sanaz is an immigrant from Iran.
Daryah is an international student from Saudi Arabia.
They work as volunteers at a kitchen in Collingwood Community Centre.
Every Saturday morning, Sanaz and Daryah
work with a team of people to prepare breakfast for homeless people.

Six students talk about their experiences
Bing, Elaine, Fiona, Feras, Haidar, and Nancy
are all students studying in the EAP program at Capilano University.
They also do volunteer work as part of their Community Engagement.

Bing, Elaine, and Fiona come from China.
Their classmate, Nancy, comes from Korea.
Bing, Elaine, Fiona, and Nancy are studying
in the ECCE Pathway Program.
ECCE stands for Early Childhood Care and Education.
It is a program that trains people
to become teachers of young children.

Elaine started to work as a volunteer teacher in 2013.
She volunteered in a Chinese school called Tzu Ching,
where she helped children from 3 to 5 years old
learn to speak and write Chinese.
Elaine says that this was a good experience
for her because the work is related to her studies.
She learned many things that she will be able
to use as a teacher of young children.

Nancy volunteered once a week in a daycare centre,
where she worked with very young children.
She said that the most difficult part of her volunteer job
was trying to understand the emotions of the children
and encouraging them to eat their snacks.
She has benefitted very much from this experience.
In fact, the day care centre has offered her a part time,
paid job for this summer.
Doing Community Engagement has really been great for Nancy!

Last year, Fiona worked as a volunteer
at a special festival to celebrate Chinese culture.
She taught traditional Chinese painting
to children from 6 to 10 years old.
She says that this activity was very successful.
She enjoyed the chance to talk
to Canadians about Chinese art.
Fiona is very happy with her experience as a volunteer,
and today, she continues to do volunteer work.

Bing did many kinds of volunteer jobs.
She worked at two festivals
and went to a training class
for a program called One to One.
The One to One program is a tutoring job
to help disabled children learn to read.
This was the most interesting experience for Bing.
She hopes to do this volunteer job in the future.

Feras and Haidar come from from Saudi Arabia.
Both of them volunteer as International Student Mentors.
The Mentors help new students
learn about life at the university.
They also plan fun activities for students.

Feras said that it was very hard
to get his job as a mentor,
but he is very happy about it.
For example, he helped to organize
an orientation meeting for new students.
Last week, he planned a student trip to Whistler.
Soon he will plan a trip to a hockey game.
For Feras, doing volunteer work is very important.
He says that if you help other people,
one day, other people will help you.

Haidar is now studying
in the Business Administration Program.
He is in the second semester of this program.
He volunteered as a photographer
at many International Student activities.
Haidar wants to give other international students some advice.
He says it is a good idea
for them to do volunteer work.
By doing Community Engagement,
students can develop their skills
and learn about working in Canada.