Program helps student refugees with fresh start at Brock

Each academic year, the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) sponsors up to two refugees who become Canadian permanent residents and students at Brock through the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) refugee program.

WUSC is a Canadian non-profit organization that partners with universities across the country to achieve its goals of increasing youth education, empowerment and economic opportunity.

“Education is a powerful tool,” said BUSU Clubs Manager Chloe Villers. “Supporting refugee students in their pursuit of higher education can transform their lives and shape a brighter future.”

Villers, who spearheads the WUSC program, works with each student to prepare them for their time in Canada and their new academic journey.

For second-year Economics student Ahmed Ibrahim Sheik Abdirahman, that journey began in 2022 when he applied for the WUSC Student Refugee Program. Originally from Somalia, he lived in Uganda as a refugee before coming to Canada at the age of 27 to study at Brock.

Ahmed’s arrival last year was the beginning of many new experiences, including adjusting to Canadian winters.

“My first winter in Canada was tough, but BUSU helped me a lot,” said Abdirahman. “The cold weather was new to me, but the support from BUSU and the University community made it easier. They helped me adjust and made the experience better.”

Not only is Abdirahman thriving in the Economics program, but he is also now a proud BUSU employee, working alongside his peers at the General Brock store.

“My life in Canada has been a profound transformation. The sense of safety and stability here is a stark contrast to the challenges I faced in my home country,” said Abdirahman. “During my time at Brock University, I found a welcoming community that celebrates diversity, providing not only top-tier education but also unique employment opportunities. The inclusive environment and support from both the University and BUSU have empowered me to build a future I once only dreamed of. Canada, and specifically my experience at Brock University, has been the foundation for a new chapter filled with growth, education and opportunities.”

BUSU invites anyone interested in joining the WUSC Committee to mentor and support incoming students to email for more information.

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