2017-2018 World Link Volunteers
A core focus of the program is student development and leadership. Student volunteers supporting this program are given opportunities to develop leadership skills through collaboration, planning, implementing, promotions, co-hosting social events, and facilitating group discussions.
Meet the volunteers:
Country/countries I call home:
Languages spoken: English, some French so come talk to me
Program of study: BAH Drama and Classical Studies
International Education involvement so far: First Year Programme at Herstmonceux Castle 2013-14, Full-Year Exchange to Cardiff University 2015-16, 18-day Medieval Theatre Intensive at Herstmonceux Castle 2017
Favorite Food (or interesting food): Whatever people want me to try! And pasta
Favourite Movie/TV show: Currently binging Archer but I will get back to you
Something I’m most proud of: I performed in a Medieval Festival and my troupe was scouted for a French festival #France2018
The best advice someone gave to me is: Never tickle a sleeping dragon.
Favorite Quote: “Bear in woods? That is scary. This? This is not scary.” – a Russian hockey player being interviewed before a big game
What I want to be remembered for is: Darwin Award
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: There’s a great big world. What are you waiting for?
Grace (Lechen) XuCountry/Countries I call home:
I was born in Hefei, Anhui in China and came to Canada as an international student.
Languages spoken: Mandarin & English
Program of Study: I’m a second-year student who’s an Applied Economics major and Gender Studies minor
International Education involvement so far: I was in an international high school in my hometown before I came to Queen’s. I’ve joined the exchange student program, studying in Victoria, BC for half a year when I was in Grade 10. Now I’m an overseas student in Canada and I really enjoy my life here
Favorite food: I am a genuine foodie! I do like Chinese food a lot but I also like to eat western- style food. My favourite Chinese food is Tang Cu Pai Gu (sweet and sour pork ribs) and favourite Canadian food is yam fries
Favorite Movie: One day
Something I’m most proud of: Sand surfing from the very steep slope!
The best advice someone gave to me is: Be yourself
Favorite Quote: To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield.
If I could change one thing in the world, it will be: No more wars, everyone can live in a peaceful and safe world.
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: Embracing all the differences and enjoy it. International experience will be one of the most valuable experiences in your life and makes you become globalized.
Isabella AsselstineCountry/Countries I call home:
I have both Australian and Canadian citizenship, but I grew up living abroad. I’ve lived in the UK, Lebanon, the UAE, Russia, and Qatar. The majority of my life was spent in Qatar (10 years), so I suppose that’s the closest thing to home for me. I first moved to Canada last year to begin my undergraduate degree.
Languages spoken: English and intermediate French
Program of Study: Biology major, world languages minor
International Education involvement so far: I’ve attended American international schools from pre-K through to grade 12
Favorite food: This is so hard to choose! I’ll never say no to a slice of vegetarian pizza, but I’d have to say the win goes to eggplant parmesan for the ultimate favourite.
Favorite Movie: Moulin Rouge! By far! Anything by Baz Luhrmann is stunning in my books but the music in this film combined with the cinematography gets me every time.
My claim to fame: I would have to say I’m most proud of moving 15 hours away from my family to attend Queens. It was hard coming to a new country and not being able to visit home on the weekends. It was definitely a big step, as I’m sure it was for most people, but I’m glad I did it!
The best advice someone gave to me is: “Don’t eat that yogurt, its expired” –my sister
Favorite Quote: “Dream as if you’ll live forever live as if you’ll die tomorrow” –James Dean
(closely followed by “Treat yo’ self”)
What I want to be remembered for is: Cheesy as it is, I’d like to be remembered by my friends and family as someone confident, friendly and fun. Someone who put a smile on people’s faces
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: Not only does international experience enhance your cultural awareness, it also allows you to learn more about yourself. Through traveling internationally, or even just interacting with an international group of people locally, you are presented with various opinions, cultures, and experiences that differ from your own. Very quickly, you realize how much there is to learn from one another, helping you develop a stronger sense of who you are
Jing WangCountry/Countries I call home:
China and Canada
Languages spoken: Mandarin, English, German, and trying to learn Spanish
Program of Study: B.AH in Global Development and History
B.Ed in Primary/Junior
International Education involvement so far: I attended an international school in Shanghai during high school. After my first year of university, I did an internship in Kaiserslautern, Germany, that focused on the development of adult education in the community and also volunteered in a few schools in Kaiserslautern.
In my third year, I took part in an academic exchange and studied in Tuebingen, Germany for half a year. Currently, I am pursuing a concentration in international education in my education studies.
Favorite food: This is a difficult one. Indian and Korean cuisines are two of my favourites!
Favorite Movie & TV show: Game of Thrones is my current favorite show and some of my favourite films are Love Actually and Remember the Titans
Something I’m most proud of: Not being afraid of trying something new!
The best advice someone gave to me is: You can have everything in life but you have only got so much time
Favorite Quote: Alles hat eine Ende nur die Wurst hat zwei (everything has an ending only the sausage has two).
What I want to be remembered for is: I want to be remembered for being empathetic and for bringing people together.
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: Challenge yourself! Put yourself in an unfamiliar setting and try something new. We are all more resilient than we believe we are.
Julie (Yaqi) HaoCountry/Countries I call home:
Languages spoken: Mandarin Chinese, English, a little French, a little Japanese, and a little Korean
Program of Study: Master of Education
International Education involvement so far:
2008-2009, volunteer Chinese teaching work in the US; 2012, school exchange visits to Sweden and Singapore; 2016-2017, Master of Education degree study in Canada.
Favorite food: Chinese dumplings, lasagna, beaver tails
Favorite Movie: “Far and Away”, National Geographic, Lonely Planet Series
My greatest accomplishment: I get my greatest accomplishment in being a language teacher for nine years. I am in particular proud that I used to teach students from over ten countries in one classroom.
The best advice someone gave to me is: You can always find more solutions than problems
Favorite Quote: “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” — Oprah Winfrey
If I could change one thing in the world: I wish I could use my expertise to help more people
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: Once you step out of your comfort zone and get a chance to embrace the diversity in the world, you will see how small you yourself are, how much you need to learn, and how beautiful your life can be.
Lucksini RaveendranCountry/Countries I call home:
I call Canada home because of the many endless memories that I’ve experienced with my family and friends throughout my life. I can’t imagine living anywhere else other than here!
Languages spoken: English & Tamil
Program of Study: Public Health Sciences
International Education involvement so far: I’ve had the opportunity to go abroad and provide aid- based services. Through this experience, I’ve learned a lot about adapting to different cultures while emerging myself into their life styles in various local communities.
Favorite food: One thing that I love most is trying out all kinds of food from around the world while experiencing different cultures. My favourite types of food are usually sushi, pasta and Greek food such as the chicken souvlaki with potatoes!
Favorite Movie: I enjoy any movie in the thriller genre (i.e. Shutter Island)
Something I’m most proud of: White water rafting down over an hour long steep river!
The best advice someone gave to me is: Don’t worry about hard times because some of the most beautiful things we have in life come from changes and mistakes
Favorite Quote: At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back. –Denzel Washington
Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua J. Marine
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: Having an open mind during an international experience is crucial because of the many challenges and uncertainty that follows in a new setting. We are stronger than we perceive ourselves to be, so keeping this in mind is essential.
Also, we must accept cultural differences as a unique aspect of each individual and find appropriate means to incorporate cultural appreciation in our daily lives to better ourselves and understand one another through self-growth.
Country/Countries I call home:
Home is wherever I’ve established a support network. In other words, personally for me, home is not an unchanging physical location, but a sense of belonging.
Languages spoken: English, French, and Mandarin
Program of Study: Concurrent Education-Mathematics major, French minor
International Education involvement so far: Studied in Canada, China, and France. Student teacher in Canada; ski instructor in Canada and in France.
Favorite food: Anything my friends make 😉
Favorite TV show: Sherlock
Something I’m most proud of: Teaching skiing in the French Alps
The best advice someone gave to me is: You should enjoy every moment when you’re in [insert new location/setting]. You won’t. But you should.
Favorite Quote: We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars – Oscar Wilde
If I could change one thing in the world: Pandora never opened that dreadful box.
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. — A. A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh
Sarah SinagaCountry/Countries I call home:
Languages spoken: Indonesian, English, basic Italian & Spanish
Program of Study: Majoring in History with a minor in Employment Relations
International Education involvement so far: I’ve gone to an International school in Indonesia all my life as well as doing two-month long exchanges to places all around the world every year from year 5 to year 12.
Places I’ve done exchange in include; US, Denmark, Korea, Germany, France, Argentina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, Armenia, Canada, Taiwan, and Switzerland
Favorite food: Pempek! It’s a traditional, savoury fishcake delicacy from Palembang, South Sumatera, Indonesia, made of fish and tapioca. It’s usually served with rich sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuka. My family and I can’t have a family gathering without it!
Favorite Movie: Peaky Blinders, The Tudors, and the Sound of Music
My claim to fame: I have performed in hundreds of choir competitions around the world, having performed in major places such as; the Opera House in Copenhagen, Carnegie Hall in New York, and Konzerthaus in Vienna
The best advice someone gave to me is: The best beauty, is beautiful manners – my mama
Favorite Quote: Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering — Don Miguel Ruiz
If I could change one thing in the world: For it to be a place where everyone can feel safe
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: I think that one thing that everyone should always strive to be is to be more cultured and open-minded, and what better way to becoming so than to seek international experience? Meeting and talking to people from so many different cultures and backgrounds is so eye-opening, and sure it might be awkward or you might not know what else to say, but by overcoming that, you’ll grow as a person and become a global citizen yourself!
It is a big leap, but imagine all the places you’ll get to see when you visit your new friends!
Selena (Qihui) ChenCountry/Countries I call home:
Languages spoken: Mandarin, English, French
Program of Study: Major – Religious Studies; Minor – Psychology
International Education involvement so far: IB diploma
Favorite food: Noodle, any type of noodle
Favorite Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
My greatest accomplishment: Publish a pamphlet or book of Chinese Traditional Culture
The best advice someone gave to me is: Don’t settle for the old ideas, trying to explore the new one
Favorite Quote: Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it (by Charles R. Swindoll)
What I want to be remembered for is: I want to be remembered as a person who has influenced other people in a good way. I think that changing the world is hard, but influencing other people positively a little bit or more is a thing which for everyone can do
What I would say to encourage students to seek international experience(s) is: You should learn how to accept different people and cultures, that can make you look the world in a new perspective. Don’t stay where you are. Go outside to explore and see the whole world.