Students can now make connections with people from around the globe right here on campus. PHOTO: NATALIA BALCERZAK

Go on exchange without setting foot off campus

In Communities /

By Anna Chorazyczewski

International Student Services has launched a new program called Globalinks that will provide students with the opportunity to build new relationships, learn about different cultures, and gain valuable volunteer experience.

Hiroshi Yasuoka, an international student advisor at ISS, said although the program is new to Ryerson, it has already taken off.

“I’m very surprised, the program has already passed my expectations,” said Yasuoka.

Students who apply for Globalinks will be paired up for one semester to exchange friendship, culture, and language. Matches are made based on mutual factors like gender, interests, and hobbies.

“There are nine blanks to fill out on the application and I want everyone to fill in all nine,” says Yasuoka. “If you say you only like sleeping, it’s difficult to match you with someone.”

Globalinks is different from an exchange or pen pal program because students are able to experience a different culture without having to leave campus and fly across the globe. The program also runs at no cost to those who sign up.

“It’s about making connections and becoming a global citizen,” says Yasuoka.

The program holds events throughout the semester that are intended to help students get in touch with their partners. Aside from these events, there is no set list of activities for students and their partners. Instead, they are encouraged to take part in things they’re interested in.

In addition to being a fantastic learning opportunity, Globalinks is also a great volunteer opportunity.

“The Globalinks program is credible and you can put it on a resume, it’s an easy way to get involved and get a reference,” says Yasuoka.

Ryerson students have until Sept. 24 to apply for this semesters Globalinks program. Applications can be found on the ISS website, as well as the ISS office (first floor of the Podium building).

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