The whole world comes to NorQuest

May 26, 2022

The whole world comes to NorQuest
“I feel so ecstatic meeting other students. Now, I have so many new friends from different countries!”

That’s a common reaction among NorQuest’s International students. For many, the culture shock of a new country, a new college campus, and new people takes some adjustment. However, senior students take the lead to ensure that newcomers encounter many friendly faces to welcome them to NorQuest, to Edmonton, and to Canada.

With the goal of building a supportive and connected student community at NorQuest, the college's International Peer Mentorship Program pairs up senior students with new students throughout every academic year to make the student journey more interesting and enjoyable. Peer Mentors at NorQuest help new students settle and succeed in their new environment. Mentors provide words of advice, share their experiences, provide tips on how to succeed in Canadian classrooms, things to explore in Edmonton, and more. New students get to focus on personal growth and skill development while expanding their personal and professional networks with the support of their mentors.

“It is extremely important to have a peer mentor so you don’t feel lost in this new environment,” says Gurleen Kaur Bhandohal, International Peer Mentor. “Each day, I get a chance to bring a positive change in the lives of the students who are new to this country and culture. Moreover, peer mentors help in confidence building, communication skills, and leadership skills which are one of the most valued skills in Canadian culture.”

NorQuest has almost 2,000 international learners from over 100 countries of birth. More than 70 languages are spoken on campus. Each term, international students get many opportunities to break the ice, mingle, and make new friends. Students delight in tasting new food, learning about each other’s cultures, and learning more about NorQuest and the services the college offers. Most importantly, new friendships are made.

"Studying abroad isn't easy,” says Maricris Canubas, a first-year Early Learning and Childcare student. “To be honest, I didn't experience culture shock at NorQuest. Most students, staff and teachers are affable and I was so amazed how they welcome new students. I think the Peer Mentorship program is great, since you can find a new friend to guide and help you in your NorQuest journey."