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Spotlight: International and Canadian Student Network (ICSN)
International and Canadian Student Network (ICSN) is a Feds student-run service catered toward helping international, exchange and local students feel welcome at the University of Waterloo and in Canada.
ICSN holds biweekly events such as Babble Café and Culture Connection in addition to organizing special trips to Niagara Falls and Canada’s Wonderland.
“What we try to do here is, provide a platform and a service… We are a resource for international, exchange students and even Canadian students. If they ever need any kind of help… we’ll try our best to help you as much as we can,” said Shruti Mishra, ICSN co-ordinator for fall term 2018.
Mishra, who is in her 3A term of Health Studies, has been involved with ICSN as a volunteer, advocacy director and now as co-ordinator along with Oreo Dada Phillips. Mishra explained that she joined ICSN after hearing the struggles of her international friends.
“They often tell me about being homesick and how hard it is for them to come to a whole different country… My heart went out to them,” she said. “I really wanted to get involved within the school community … and open the lines of communication between the international students and the Canadian students.”
Mishra was also looking to get involved to meet new people and share new experiences.
“I am interested in learning about different cultures and about different people and what different backgrounds they come from,” she said. “I thought ICSN would allow me to do all of that and much more.”
Mishra said that her favourite part about being co-ordinator is having a bigger voice and being able to bring change. She emphasized that the work that she does on a daily basis for ICSN is her favourite achievement, and that she hopes to bring new people and different ideas to the service this term.
“I’m looking forward to bigger turnout to our events [this term], and also I do want to focus a lot more on different issues that are going on in the world,” she said.
ICSN is run with the help of many different people. Each term, ICSN takes on people for roles such as co-ordinator, advocacy director, communications director, finance director, internal director, social director, and special projects director. Mishra said that volunteers are vital to the success of ICSN.
“They’re impeccable. We need them. They’re the ones who really make sure the service is going,” she said. “They are indispensable.”
Interested in volunteering with ICSN? At the beginning of each term, you can apply for the positions listed above through LEADS.
Students are also encouraged to attend events and provide feedback.
“The other way where students can get involved is to come out to our events or if they feel like there’s something missing or there’s something they would like to see, then please shoot us an email or come talk to us personally,” Mishra said. Come to our office hours, talk to us and we’ll try to make it happen.”
Check out some of the events that ICSN is hosting this term:
Babble Café takes place every other Tuesday from 6:30 pm- 8:30 pm at The Bombshelter Pub. It is a safe space where international, exchange and local students can converse freely and meet new people. Every Café theme is different and it’s free!
Culture Connection takes place every alternate Thursday from 6:00 pm- 8:00 pm. It is an interactive and hands on session where students can learn about different cultures. Just come out (it’s free)!
On October 13, ICSN is taking students to the Halloween Haunt in Canada’s Wonderland for a low fare. If you like spooky, sign up for the event!
ICSN also teams up with the Student Success Office, the Peer Success Group, and Renison to host programs like the Conversation Partner Program.