International Orientation Chair & Student Facilitators

A message from your International Orientation Chair: Saurabh Kulkarni

Saurabh Kulkarni 2017Saurabh Kulkarni
Year: 4th
Country: India
Program: Political Science

Hey Mounties! My name is Saurabh Kulkarni and I am your International Orientation Chair this year! I am currently in my fourth year, doing Honours in Political Science and minoring in Sociology and International Relations. I was born and raised in Aurangabad, India but I am very proud to call Canada home, too! Fun fact about myself: The first time I ever travelled alone was on the flight to Canada and I have never been lost since!

International Orientation happens before University Orientation and is a great medium for incoming international students to transition to life at Mount Allison and Canada. Mount Allison University’s International Orientation hosts information sessions on subjects ranging from academic expectations to money management, day trips to explore our beautiful province of New Brunswick, and to the shopping mall to get everything you need, and many more exciting things! International Orientation is a great place for students to meet others who come from different countries but are sharing the experience of leaving home and coming to a small town in a different country. Here you will build friendships that last a lifetime! Mount Allison and Sackville might be small, but we have big hearts, bigger smiles and a place for everybody in our little town in the marshes. Just come with an open mind and positive attitude. I am looking forward to meeting all of you in Sackville in August.

The bios of the excellent facilitators are right below, so scroll down and see what everyone is up to!

If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact or and join our Facebook group: International Orientation 2017.

2017 International Orientation Team

Guanqi Ding 2017Guanqi Ding
Year: 5th
Country: China
Program: Sociology and English

Hello everyone – Welcome to Mount Allison! My name is Guanqi Ding. I'm a fourth year student majoring in Sociology and minoring in English Literature. Believe me, IO is really going help you to make friends and get involved in this new community – just like how it helped me and so many international students in the past! So, don't be afraid! Besides, all of us are here for you! Although Sackville is a small town, you will still find out so many things to do – we have hundreds of clubs and societies. Although the weather is always cold here, you will be warmly surrounded by everyone! My advice would be to always keep an open mind, try new things, communicate with others, and don't forget to bring your biggest smile! Can't wait to meet all of you in August!!

Shekhar Dewan 2017Shekhar Dewan
Year: 3rd
Country: India
Program: Cognitive Science, Philosophy, Math/CS, Psychology

Hi, and welcome to the university! I still remember the mixture of excitement and nervousness when I realized I was coming to Mount Allison. I’m sure you’re feeling that as well. As I hope you will find, the people here are very friendly and welcoming, and they make settling in much easier. Don’t be taken in by the lovely quaint town in the summer feel though, it gets pretty cold and windy, and winter lasts for a while. But there are lots of things happening on campus all the time, and if you’re interested in something, you will probably find people who are also interested in it (if not just talk about until they become interested).

Jokes aside, Sackville is a great place, and I think you’ll find many opportunities to grow as a person and be on a first name basis with classmates, administrative staff and many of your professors (seriously, just go talk to them). I still have at least two more years here, so I hope to see you around when I’m in the library or involved in some of the many activities on campus.

My hobbies include reading, coding, socializing, unicycling, and I am currently trying to build the habit of going to the gym regularly. Oh, and I should mention that International Orientation week was probably my favourite in Sackville, and I hope we can create an even better experience for you!

Chaoyi Liang 2017Chaoyi Liang
Year: 3rd year
Country: China
Program: Philosophy

Hey Mounties! Welcome and welcome!

I go by the name ChaoYi, and I'm a third year Philosophy major, a book worm, a cyclist, a hiker, a photographer, and an aspiring violinist... My wish is that all of you appreciate the remoteness of Sackville as much as I do, though I know some of you may not at first. No, there are no shopping malls or dancing clubs in our little town, but you could find a lot in the quietness if you are willing to explore :)

Rohit BhojwaniRohit Bhojwani
Year: 4th
Country: Chile/India
Program: Aviation

Hey friends! Welcome aboard to MtA! This is my 3rd year being an International Orientation Facilitator and my 4th and final year at Mount Allison. I am an Indian, born in Thailand and raised in Chile. My two favourite things in life are aeroplanes and rock'n'roll! Since my first year, International Orientation was and still is my favourite week at Mount A. Without it, I would have never met so many people who I still remain really great friends with today! Please don't hesitate to ask us about anything that you have in mind - we are here for you! See you in August :)

Sage Shaheen 2017Sage Shaheen
Year: 2nd
Country: USA
Program: International Relations

Hi everyone! My name is Sage and I am from the United States of America – more specifically Maine! This is my first year being a facilitator for Mount Allison’s International Orientation, and I am so looking forward to meeting all of you! The reason I chose to become involved in IO is because I had the absolute BEST experiences of my time at MtA during my own international orientation last year! I met some of my best friends and had some of the best times while participating in IO activities with my awesome facilitators and fellow participants. I am here now to make this experience the very best it can be for you, too, so please do not hesitate to seek me out both during orientation and anytime during the year! Right now, the best advice I can give you is to really try to put yourself out there during these weeks of orientation. Lastly, welcome to Sackville and the Mount Allison community – you cannot help but love it here!

Marissa Trott 2017Marissa Trott
Year: 2nd
Country: Bermuda
Program: Physics and Dramatic Arts

Hey everyone! Congratulations on your acceptance to Mount Allison and I hope you're super excited for the year to come. My name is Marissa and I'm known for my continuous optimism and love of all things science, films, music, and food related so if any of those things float your boat then I can already tell this is going to be great. I know that moving to a new country may be scary for some of you, but I promise IO will help you to make the adjustments you need. IO is a great place to meet new people and make some great friends. I'm happy to say, that I made my best friends during IO so I know that you can too. I can't wait to meet you all in August!

Samuel Smedley 2017Samuel Smedley
Year: 2nd
Country: Canada/USA
Program: Geography

Hello, and welcome to Mount Allison! I felt very lucky to be able to attend last year's IO. It's a great chance to meet new people and settle in ahead of the huge rush that is Move-In day for the students. A few quieter days with a smaller group of people was just what I needed to settle in and feel at home, and hopefully you'll enjoy and appreciate it as much as I did. I am originally from Canada but my family moved to Massachusetts six years ago. Canada has always felt like home to me, so I decided to return for university. I love cooking, music, and camping, and I am very passionate about architecture. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about being part of the LGBTQ+ community at Mount Allison. See you all soon!

Takumi Oshima 2017Takumi Oshima
Year: 4th
Program:Geography and International Politics

Hi, everyone! Welcome to Mount Allison University. My name is Takumi and I am a fourth year Geography student. Are you guys nervous? Or excited for the new school life? No worries! You guys will see the wonderful and exciting school life in MtA! Mount Allison University is one of the smallest universities in Canada, but the people in Sackville are very close and kind to each other. International Orientation is the first step to becoming friends with each other! I’m going to help you guys to not only to succeed in IO but also in your new university life. If you have any questions, don’t be shy! I am welcome to answer anything, such as new university life, how to study, classes, my experience. Again, are you guys ready to IO? See you there!

Nikky Kundiwal 2017Nikky Kundliwal
Year: 3rd
Country: India
Program: Psychology

Hello beautiful creatures from across the planet! I am more than ecstatic about you joining our wonderful family! I know the thought of coming from across the world to a new country and building a new life in a place you barely know can be overwhelming, but remember, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU. My experience at IO in my first year was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my year, a chance for me to explore the place and develop so many close friendships. Sackville only seems small until you realize how much there really is to do here ranging from numerous student clubs and societies to local events hosted around town.

Natalia Liste ColominaNatalia Liste Colomina
Year: 2nd
Country: Spain
Program: International Relations, Sociology, & Women and Gender Studies

Welcome Mounties to your new home! I am originally from Spain but have lived all over the world. During my first year, I cannot think of a better experience than IO where I made great memories and met my closest friends. What I can say to you guys is: We are here for you, and if you have a “stupid” questions or you are not comfortable to put it in the group on Facebook, you are always welcome to message me privately. Just to leave you with some advice: Even if it might seem hard, try to be open and willing to meet people during this first week; you will meet great people and even if you do not end up being close friends, it is always nice to see a friendly face while you go from class to class. I can’t wait to meet you all in August and help you see the charm of Mount Allison and Sackville. Again, welcome to Mount A!

Sakurako GotoSakurako Goto
Year: 3rd
Country: Japan
Program: International Relations and Hispanic Studies

Welcome to Mount Allison and Sackville! I am so excited to meet you at IO. I was born and raised in Japan, but I have traveled many countries around the world (I want go EVERYWHERE!!). As you can see, many friends from all over the world will be in IO with you! I met many people from different countries and cultures especially at IO and this experience is one of the best memories at MtA. Now I study Spanish, which is something I had never expected to do before I came here. Many friends have changed my perspective about myself like this. So I am sure you will meet fantastic people and make great friendships at IO! This is such a good chance for you, so don't be afraid to talk with new people. Only thing you need is smiling! We are here for you!!  

Maddy Bedard 2017Maddy Bédard
Year: 3rd
Country: Canada
Program: Environmental Studies

Hello wonderful people! My name is Maddy Bédard and I’m from Saint John, New Brunswick. I’m an outdoors enthusiast and I love to hike, canoe, and ski, among other things. I also enjoy cooking and am always on the lookout for new recipes (so if you have any neat recipes, feel free to share!). Although this will be my first IO, I am beyond excited to meet everyone and to get to know each and every single one of you! A pro-tip from yours truly: SACKVILLE IS WINDY. Bring a toque and some warm boots, eh? That being said, Sackville is my home away from home and I can’t wait for it to be yours, too. Even today, I’m still discovering new joys that our small university town has to offer. See me walking around campus? Or maybe cramming at the student center? Don’t hesitate to reach out to ask me about some of Mount A’s hidden gems. I can't wait to meet you all so here’s to a great International Orientation – Cheers!

Sula SwartSula Swart
Year: 3rd
Country: South Africa
Program: Biology and Psychology

Hello everyone! Welcome to Mount A! My name is Sula, and I am from a small town in South Africa.  I am currently a third-year science student majoring in Biology and hoping to graduate with an Honours degree next year. I moved to Canada two years ago, and the hardest adjustment was getting used to the freezing Canadian winters. Fun fact is that I had never seen snow before coming to Sackville, so I was very worried, but now I love it, especially “snow days” (when class gets cancelled). Sackville is a beautiful little town with many hidden gems to explore. IO is an excellent opportunity to make lasting friendships and to prepare for your university career at MTA.  All of the facilitators are so excited to meet you all in the Fall! Safe travels and see you all soon!

Othello A. Davies 2017Othello A. Davies
Year: 2nd
Country: Liberia
Program: Bachelor of Arts

Hey guys! Welcome to Mount Allison, and Sackville. I am really excited and honoured to welcome all of you guys to our small and great town. I know how hard it is adjusting into a new environment, but I promise you it will be a wonderful experience. If you are ever looking for someone to play ball with or do a dance battle with, I am your guy! Feel free to hit me up anytime you want! A little heads up: You guys should be fully prepared to make new friends, try new things and get ready to have the best time of your life!! I am so excited!! Can’t wait to see you guys in August!