Student from Tanzania volunteers to help make the transition to university easier

September 21, 2018 | Campus Life

I was quite young when I moved away from my home to Dar es Salaam, the biggest city in Tanzania. My parents wanted me to have a future – one that wasn’t restricted to our town, so they worked very hard to send me to a school with an international curriculum. I spent every Sunday morning waiting by the landline for my parents to call. When it rang, I was always excited to answer “Hello, Mummy!”

Even though I only saw my parents very few times a year while growing up, moving to Edmonton to go to university was still a very big change. I used to be homesick. I used to miss the food, and my parents and grandparents. I felt like I did not have any friends during that first year.

But eventually I figured things out. I was on the MacEwan website one day and saw something about the MacEwan Ambassador program. It was too late to apply that year, but I was invited to volunteer at the Family Literacy Carnival. I had never seen anything like it. It was so much fun. There were so many people at the carnival – parents and children – and they were all excited to learn. I loved the idea of helping people with their education, because I had volunteered at an orphanage to do the same in Dar es Salaam.

In my first summer as an Ambassador, I gave tours to high school students. Then, I volunteered for New Student Orientation and I got to see the nervous faces of first-year students. I loved making people feel more comfortable at university, so in my second year as an ambassador, I started the International Student Club. We hosted an event every month – henna parties, pizza parties, tea chats– to bring domestic and international students together.

Volunteering – as an ambassador, with Habitat for Humanity, and at university events – has helped me grow to be a better person. I’ve learned to accept change. And I feel like I’m making a difference in other people’s lives – that I’m giving something to the world, even if it’s small.

–Nooshin, fourth-year Bachelor of Arts student and MacEwan Ambassador

MacEwan Ambassadors are just one of dozens of ways students volunteer – on campus and in the community. Even if you missed this week's volunteer fair, it's not too late to get involved. Here are a few ideas:

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