Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shine A Light event (October 9, 2009)!

On Friday, October 9th in downtown Vancouver, WUSC UBC collaborated with WUSC local committees at SFU and VIU in a spontaneous action event to raise awareness and funds for the WUSC Shine A Light campaign (

Sunday, October 04, 2009

WUSC UBC has created a new best practices guide!

With the collaboration of SRP students past and present, the UBC Geography Dept., SRP coordinators and leading practitioners in refugee settlement, we have now completed our WUSC UBC Best Practices Guide. Look for it at & happy reading!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Some more good times from our dinner party

Monday, February 16, 2009

SRP Social

Thursday, November 13, 2008

December 2007- Rose Higgens and Glen Peterson hold Workshop

On Friday, November 9th the SRP hosted a national training
workshop as part of WUSC’s 61th Annual General Assembly.
More than 110 LC members from across the country attended
the session!
The training began with a sponsorship overview by Asni, followed
by a video presentation of refugee camps in Kenya. Tariku
Kebede, a student from University of Waterloo sponsored in
2006-07, and Nimrod Andrew, former Burmese sponsored
student at University of Saskatchewan, shared their stories and
gave tips to committees on how to best support sponsored
students during the 12-month sponsorship period. Glen Peterson
(WUSC-UBC Faculty Advisor), Rose Higgins (former
UBC Local Committee member) and Maureen Flynn (NSAC
Local Committee Member) shared their experience on how to
institutionalize the SRP.

The 2007 Referendum

It's been a decade since UBC last had a referendum for the Student Refugee Program. So building on the success of our WUSC predessors, we look reflect back on the 1997 referendum, and look forward to an even more prosperous future for the SRP!

Below is an article published a decade ago after winning the first AMS referendum in favor of the SRP:

Refugees pursue studies thanks to campus help
by Gavin Wilson
Staff writer

In his native Rwanda, Willy Rangira lived in fear for four years. It was dangerous to venture out after dark in case he encountered soldiers or bands of Hutu men looking for a Tutsi such as himself.
"I managed to survive the 1994 genocide," he says now, "but when it was over I had to leave my friends and family behind in search of a better future."
He fled to Kenya, where he eked out an existence tutoring French and grew increasingly despondent about his life as a refugee.
Now, thanks to a World University Service Canada (WUSC) program for refugee students, Rangira is studying first-year Arts at UBC. He is one of three students who have recently arrived at UBC under the program. The others are Milada Tanovic of Bosnia and Joseph Bartel of Sudan.
"The challenge of adjusting to life in a new country is difficult for anyone," said Glen Peterson, assistant professor of History and the WUSC-UBC faculty adviser, "but it is often especially difficult for refugee students who have been forced to flee their home countries."
"Most of the refugee students who have come to UBC have completed their degrees and gone on to meaningful careers. Some have earned master's degrees and PhDs," he added.
This year UBC will welcome three new WUSC-sponsored students: Pascaline Nsekerabanyanka and Valery Kiyogama from Burundi and Huang Junfeng from China.
WUSC is a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to involving Canadians in international development in Canada and overseas.
The UBC branch dates back to 1947 and has been sponsoring refugee students since 1981. In the past 16 years, 23 refugee students have studied at UBC.
The student refugee sponsorship program is run entirely by UBC student volunteers who make up the local WUSC committee on campus. They arrange admission, housing and course registration for students before their arrival, and provide personal support throughout the year. Sponsored students automatically become members of the local committee.
WUSC's national executive director Marc Dolgin was recently on campus to sign a revised refugee student support agreement. The agreement includes increased funding from the Alma Mater Society and the Office of Awards and Financial Aid.
Awards and Financial Aid provides a bursary for refugee students that this year was raised to include tuition fees and a book allowance for up to three students per year for the duration of their academic program.
"This makes UBC the leading university in Canada for providing bursary support for refugee students," Peterson said.
Last year, UBC students voted in a referendum to commit one dollar per student to the refugee program, doubling their earlier contribution.
As well, the UBC Faculty Association provides an annual donation of $10,000 to support refugee student sponsorship and other WUSC activities on campus including book drives for needy universities abroad and overseas study opportunities for UBC students.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Students without borders

Students Without Borders is a WUSC program that enables Canadian university and college students to participate in exciting, volunteer learning opportunities in South America, Africa, and Asia.

Students without Borders (SWB) offers three different types of placements: volunteer, internship and co-op. All placements last between 6weeks and 4months in developing countries around the world.

By enrolling in a directed studies course under the mentorship of a professor in your field, you should be able to gain academic credit towards your UBC degree.

If you are interested in SWB and/or other other overseas opportunites through WUSC (such as the annual international seminar that takes for 6 weeks in a different developing country) come to the
WUSC UBC information session:
Date: Monday, October 1st from 5:00-6:30 pm

Location: Brock Hall, Room 2001 (upstairs on the second floor)

Looking forward to seeing you there!

More information available at: (click on Students without borders icon)
Canadian students share their experiences overseas at the SWB blog:

Current UBC student understaking SWB placement in Botswana sponsored by:
StoneAge Art Gallery, MegsonFitzpatrick Insurance, Shoppers On Campus

Saturday, August 18, 2007

World Refugee Day in Vancouver

In recognition of World Refugee Day on June 20th, the
Canadian Red Cross and Vancouver Refugee Council
organized a day’s event on the theme: “Taking Refuge
Among Us” at the Vancouver Public Library.
WUSC-UBC managed to secured a table and showcased
the Student Refugee Program (SRP) in its silver jubilee
year. The program was attended by WUSC UBC alumni
Ahmed Khan and former SRP coordinator Rose Higgins.
Other collaborators to the days event included Amnesty
International, Immigrant Service Society (ISS) of BC, Canadian
Lutheran World Relief, Mennonite Central Committee
of BC and SOS Canada.

Community Engagement

The UBC local committee is proud to have one of the
most active Student Refugee Programs in the country.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary on campus, former SRP
students and friends have joined together to raise
money to support local community initiatives through a
fundraiser festival.
Some of the proceeds will be donated to the South Sudanese
Association of BC After School Tutoring Program
in an effort to address the dropout rate of Sudanese
youth in B.C. The Jabulani planning team embodies
the passionate dedication of our SRP students.
Thanks to members of the BC community in making this
initiative feasible.

Helping Refugee Students Find Jobs

With the help of facilitator Eyob Naizghi – UBC’s first sponsored student and current executive director of MOSAIC, an
immigrant and refugee support center, WUSC students and alumni joined forces to tackle the question: “Now that I have
graduated, how to I get a job and stay career focused?” International Seminar Alumni, former WUSC UBC students, and
even a WUSC Ottawa representative gave advice on networking, resume writing, job seeking strategies and so forth.
Special attention was given to the transition faced by WUSC Student Refugee Program (SRP) students graduating from
university, and the cultural and social challenges facing current SRP students in the labour market. Countless sheets of
flip chart paper filled with words of wisdom have been transformed into a PowerPoint that will be made available for all
future SRP students and the wider UBC community.

Alumni Reunion with UBC President

WUSC-UBC Alumni Reunion 1948-2007
The World University Service Canada (WUSC) UBC alumni reunited at a dinner hosted by the president and Vice
Chancellor of UBC on April 30th 2007 at the Norman Mackenzie House, UBC Vancouver Campus. The program was
chaired by Maurice Copithorne, Q.C and attended by many of the summer alumni as far back as 1949.
Speeches were given by old and new alumni who have attended the summer internship to share their international experiences.
The gathering provided an excellent opportunity to also congratulate Glen Peterson as this year’s recipient
of the Presidents Award of Excellence. The event ended with acknowledgements to members to the UBC community
who have made it possible for WUSC-UBC to thrive during the past six decades. President Stephen Toope, who is currently
the chairman of the board of directors of WUSC in Ottawa gave an inspirational speech on the ideals of international
service and promised to keep this nation-wide program as an exemplar of global citizenship.