Reflections from the WUSC Uniterra International Forum

by Dana Dwaik, Journalism student and International Student Support WUSC Ambassador for 2016-2017

I started 2016 in the best way possible thanks to Ryerson’s International Student Support and the World University Services of Canada (WUSC) Ryerson. I attended the Uniterra International Forum in Ottawa to learn more about the refugee crisis and International development.

The forum’s attendees were a large group of diverse students and professionals, who gave me unique life lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was grounding to see a group of people come together to discuss ways to help the helpless worldwide. I always see videos and photos of people who need help on my Facebook feed and I read about the issues worldwide in the news, but to gather with other like-minded people to brainstorm solutions and spread our message made me feel hopeful. I may not have much money to donate to these organizations, but I can donate my time to help bring change, one student refugee at a time.

WUSC brings student refugees to Canada from various countries worldwide to study at different universities. I met ten of these students at the conference, and it was great to see students my age get this opportunity to come to one of the best countries in the world to get world-class education. The really cool thing about this is that all Ryerson students are helping out with this process, since $3 from every student’s tuition goes to pay for the student refugee’s tuition.

Another thing that caught my attention are the other Canadian universities that have grown their university’s campus WUSC group into a huge success by bringing in more student refugees and spreading their message university-wide. It has driven me to push harder and further with our campus group. I have made a promise to myself to bring results, so next year when we reconvene in Ottawa, my goal is to have Ryerson University win the awards that went to other universities. I look forward to a great year of change and success for WUSC Ryerson.