Brock’s International Student Ambassadors ready to welcome new Badgers

Brock’s newest International Student Ambassadors are ready to share a world of experience with their peers.

On Monday, Sept. 5, incoming international students will have a chance to connect with upper-year Ambassadors at the New International Student Orientation.

Throughout the year, Ambassadors work with Brock International to share their experiences, provide meaningful connections and help international students transition to life at Brock and in Niagara.

Each year, the University selects up to 10 recipients for the International Student Ambassador Award, which recognizes students who exemplify the mission and vision of Brock University through their academic achievements and engagement both on and off campus.

“The Ambassador program helps to create a tight-knit community at Brock that celebrates the diversity that international students bring to our University,” says Hamed Karagahi, an international student from Iran who has served two years as an Ambassador. “This is done through the strong presence that our International Student Ambassadors have at events on campus and through the various opportunities they have to connect with their fellow students.”

Karagahi was awarded the International Student Ambassador Mentorship award for this academic year and will help to guide the new group of Ambassadors.

Brock’s 2022-23 International Student Ambassadors include Aishah Sonekan from Nigeria, Ximena Paredes from Mexico, Arshdeep Singh from India, Basit Ur Rehman from Pakistan, Anita Kiarie from Kenya, Khushi Anilkumar Patel from India, Stacia Jacob from Trinidad and Tobago, Sebastian Roa Goyes from Colombia and Mateo Zavala Galindo from Ecuador.

Students interested in becoming an International Student Ambassador can apply in early 2023 for the 2023-24 academic year. Information about the next round of applications will be posted on the Student Accounts and Financial Aid website as it becomes available.

This year’s Ambassadors include:

Aishah Sonekan, Nigeria

As a third-year student in Psychology, Aishah Sonekan says she loves Brock University for its student engagement and high rankings for mental health support. She was thrilled that Brock was able to provide a unique Psychology program with a minor in Business and co-op, which she plans on using to make mental health resources accessible and affordable in her home community.

Ximena Parades, Mexico

Entering her third year in Psychology, Ximena Paredes brings a wealth of experience to this year’s Ambassador group. She has been peer health educator and member of Brock’s Smart Start team, and this fall will be a peer mentor and returning International Ambassador for the second consecutive year. After completing her undergraduate degree, Paredes plans to become a psychotherapist and researcher.

Arshdeep Singh, India

A fourth-year Computer Science Co-op student, Arshdeep Singh says he chose Brock for his post-secondary studies because of the University’s outstanding co-op program. He recommends all students embrace the co-op opportunity to gain practical work experience and discover the connections they can make networking through these opportunities. With the work experience he gains in Canada thanks to Brock’s focus on experiential education, Singh plans to drive the development of the IT sector in his home country, India.

Basit Ur Rehman, Pakistan

As a fourth-year Accounting student, Basit Ur Rehman says he chose Brock University for the campus life. His most memorable experience at Brock was meeting a diverse group of people at BadgerFest, where they had interesting conversations and learned to enjoy campus life to the fullest. After completing his undergraduate degree, he plans to apply for his master’s in Accounting at Brock as well.

Anita Kiarie, Kenya

First-year Business Communications student Anita Kiarie is looking forward to creating new memories at Brock. She chose Brock University for its excellent facilities, teaching and international exposure for students. She plans to use the knowledge she gains from her program to help support her family business and create an impact on young girls just like her in Kenya.

Khushi Anilkumar Patel, India

Public Health student Khushi Anilkumar Patel is entering her fourth year at Brock. After successfully completing two co-op terms in the public health sector, Patel can proudly say choosing Brock was the best choice she has made. As a Public Health student, she hopes to explore diverse areas of the sector including epidemiology and global health, public health inspections, and health policy-making and analysis.

Stacia Jacob, Trinidad and Tobago

Second-year Psychology student Stacia Jacob loves Brock University for its small community. A member of the Niagara Strong club, she recommends joining clubs on campus to meet new people outside your area of study that also share similar interests. After completing her undergraduate degree, she plans to further advance her knowledge in Psychology before becoming a school counsellor. 

Sebastian Roa Goyes, Colombia

This year’s sole master’s student, Sebastian Roa Goyes, is entering his second year of graduate studies in Sustainability. One of his most memorable experiences at Brock was attending the Graduate Students’ Association’s Annual Starlight Gala, where he had the opportunity to connect with graduate students and expand his network. He recommends being patient while trying to make new friends and connections, as it is worth the wait. Roa Goyes plans to start a career in consumer research and sustainability in a marketing firm after graduation.

Mateo Zavala Galindo, Ecuador

First-year Biotechnology student Mateo Zavala Galindo is excited to explore the new opportunities that await him as an international student. He believes that being multilingual — he can speak English, Spanish and French­ — and his love for tennis have helped him to develop several qualities he’s ready to showcase at the University and use in his role as an Ambassador this year.

This year’s mentor is:

Hamed Karagahi, Iran

Returning as an ambassador for a second straight year, Hamed Karagahi jumped at the opportunity to get involved during his early years at Brock University. The fourth-year Public Health student is a Peer Health Lead with the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre and a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization. Driven by his involvement at Brock, Karagahi recommends international students create their own support systems early on and learn about Canadian laws and policies that protect them and their rights. After completing his undergraduate degree, he plans to attend an Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing program and pursue a career as a public health nurse.

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