By Mahmuda Sheikh
The International Center provides a safe space, resource base and a networking platform for all new and continuing students at NAIT. This includes international and domestic students, as well as permanent residents.
Dishant Gera is a NAIT international student and a Peer Mentor at the centre. Gera explained that these programs are offered by the centre to help support, connect and integrate students.
The centre is starting an event called Conversation Circles. Career experts will lead workshops about writing resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles. They will also provide workshops for study and work permits, and answer permanent residency questions.
“I feel like there is a need for the [students] to participate in the Conversation Circles,” said Gera.
Gera is concerned about international students not learning enough about the city and local culture due to a lack of participation in the services and programs. He hopes that students will take part in the lounge and study spaces to meet other people and be involved in the NAIT community.
“The International Centre is believed to be just for the international students,” said Gera. “The name comes from ‘inter’ and ‘national’, meaning people from different nations, not just people from outside this nation or people of official international student status.”
The International Student Centre is hosting student meet and greets throughout September and October where students will be introduced to international student advisors, peer mentors and the International Centre’s services and programs.
Gera also highlights how the centre helps international students adjust to their new life as Edmontonians by coordinating site visits around the city and providing year-round volunteer opportunities.