How long will I be in this program if I sign up?
This is a one-semester program. During this time you are expected to stay in touch with your mentor at least once per week, by emailing, calling, or getting together. For the first several weeks mentors are trained to contact you to see how you are doing on a regular basis, but you are also expected to get in touch with your mentor – don’t just wait for your mentor to call or email you.
What can I do with my mentor?
What you do together is up to you and your mentor. Some ideas:
- Discuss questions about life at Langara, or in Vancouver, and Canada
- Spend time getting to know each other over coffee or lunch
- Discover where to go shopping or how to use public transit in Vancouver
- Learn about Langara services and activities for students
- Have fun going to a movie, doing homework, or going out together
- Learn about setting up a mobile phone or bank account
- Explore local parks and attractions
- Participate in IE activities, workshops, and off-campus events
- Share academic and career goals and discuss ways to achieve these
What are the benefits for me if I sign up as a mentor?
- Cross-cultural training workshop – mentors receive valuable training that will help develop the i-Guide partnership and other group work
- Participate in campus events – the i-Guide program is a great way to meet other students and to get involved with campus event
- Opportunities to explore other cultures – explore new cultures on a deeper level by having meaningful interactions with other international student who will teach you about their cultures while you share yours.
How can I develop a good friendship with my mentor?
Communicate with your mentor frequently during the first several weeks – you should commit to contacting or meeting with your mentor at least once per week. The beginning is very important to develop a successful friendship. Try to contact or see each other as often as you can, even if you don’t need any help. Spending time together is the quickest way to become good friends.
Do not hesitate to speak in English. Your mentors are just like you – they have traveled to Vancouver from another country and speak English as an additional language. They understand what you are going through and have faced many of the same challenges you might be experiencing. Remember, i-Guide mentors want to get to know more about you and are willing to listen and be your friend!
Do not keep refusing the offer. It is okay to decline the invitation to get together if you have a scheduling conflict, but if you continue refusing to do things with your mentor it is likely that he or she will stop asking.
What do I do if the partnership isn’t working?
If for some reason you are having problems with your partnership, even after several attempts to make it work, feel free to speak with an International Student Coordinator and we will work together to come up with a solution to the problem.
I feel familiar with Vancouver as I have attended school here before. I already have some friends/family here too. Should I still sign up?
If you already know some people in Vancouver to spend time with or ask for help you may not benefit as much from this program, although you are still welcome to sign up. Mentors in the i-Guide program are here to assist new international students who are unfamiliar with Vancouver and Langara. If you are not sure if you should sign up, talk to an International Student Coordinator in the International Education Office (A107) or send questions to Simin Sun at email@example.com.