Program: Global Development Studies
When I came to UFV, I had already done my first year of undergraduate studies. I transferred to UFV mainly for three reasons.
It was a smaller school than my previous one. I found that I thrive more as a student in smaller and more intimate class settings. Secondly, it offered a program, Global Development Studies, that feels like it was tailored for me and that I could not find in nearby universities. As if these two weren’t enough, I also found that it was easier to fund my education.
However, UFV has overwhelmingly exceeded my expectations and those three reasons were immediately joined by other multiple reasons for why I continue to love this wonderful place.
One of those reasons is that UFV presents students with a unique opportunity to grow not only as students but also as valued members of society where their contributions and participation is constantly appreciated and encouraged.
Because UFV is a commuter school, student engagement and participation outside of class can be challenging. At first, this made it difficult for me as an international student from Ethiopia who just recently arrived in Canada and was looking to meet people and find my place on campus. However, UFV provides a great platform for students to pursue their ideas in further improving their experience on campus.
Relationships between members of the UFV community be it students, faculty, administration and so on are relatively stronger and you do not feel like you have to go great lengths to reach out.
These characteristics of UFV make it possible for students to literally bring about the change they want to see on campus. It gave me the opportunity and empowered me to shape my UFV.
I am one of the executives for a club called Black Connections created and designed for students of black ancestry to help them build connections with each other and create a sense of community.
Moreover, it is also designed to reach out and make connections with other individuals from ethnic backgrounds and distinct communities. That desire to meet new people and make meaningful friendships as well as finding my place at UFV became a reality.
We keep growing in numbers and diversity and we were able to touch lives of students from different communities, demystify prejudices and generalizations, provide different perspectives on specific issues, as well as draw on common things we find across our different communities.
I think one of the great lessons I will take from my time at UFV is that we are capable of being effective instruments of change, not only in our own reality, but in the whole world. One small step at a time.