Meet our new Vantage Peer Mentors

Starting your UBC journey at Vantage College can be a time of both excitement and anxiety. As you explore your new city, make new friends, advance your English skills, and adjust to the study schedule, it's important to remember that you're not alone. 

Hundreds of former Vantage students have been through the exact same experience before you, making them a prime source of advice. That's where our Vantage Peer Mentors program comes in.

As a peer-to-peer initiative that connects Vantage One alumni with current Vantage One students, the Vantage Peer Mentors host social events, offer guidance, and help Vantage students meet like-minded peers.

With a team of 11 mentors, these former Vantage students understand first hand what it's like to be a Vantage One student, including the challenges and the benefits of the program, as well as how it prepares you for second year and beyond at UBC.

To connect with them, join the UBC Vantage 2017-2018 Facebook group, and stay up to date on Peer Mentor events, advice or ask your own questions.

Nandia Syabrina Cahlandari
Bachelor of Arts, second year
Interests: Movies and binge-watching TV shows online.
Student club I'm involved with: UBC Photographic Society — it's a fun way to meet new people with similar interests.
I’m most excited about: The Peer Mentors' very first event, the 'Friday Funday'.
Where you can find me on campus: Roaming around The Nest, Irving K. Barber Library, or in Orchard Commons.

Daniela Gallegos
: Bachelor of Arts, second year
Interests: Hiking, dancing, singing, cooking and reading.
Student clubs I'm involved with: I'm the Vice President Event of UBC's Ecuadorian Students Association. Being a member of this club has allowed me to get more involved on-campus, get to know more people from my country and the international UBC community. It's also helped me develop my leadership skills, while having fun.
I'm most excited about: Clubs Day at the Nest — it's an excellent way to discover how to get involved or just find something to do during your free time. There are hundreds of options and some of them give out snacks and gifts at their booths. Another exciting event on campus is the week of Storm the Wall, organized by UBC REC. It's so much fun with friends and you meet more people.
Where you can find me on campus: I love going to the Vantage Lounge or the upper floors at the Nest — it's so peaceful and I usually spend my breaks here reading a good book, my class readings, or relaxing with a caramel frappuccino.  

Alicia Cortez
: Bachelor of Applied Science, second year
Interests: Painting, reading, and trying new ice cream flavours.
Student club I'm involved withShine On Music club — the violin lessons were awesome and it really helped me meet new people.
I’m most excited about: Friday Funday, it's the first Vantage Peer Mentors activity. UBC's Beaty Biodiversity Museum has great exhibitions too, like Life in Colour, and next year I'm looking forward to the Storm the Wall contest, which is always a lot of fun.
Where you can find me on campus: At the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre or the CHBE building.  

Daniela Yanez
: Bachelor of Science, second year
Interests: Dancing, hiking, reading, and Latin music.
Student clubs I'm involved with: I'm a member of the Ecuadorian Students Association (ESA), which is awesome for talking, sharing, learning, and meeting new people, not just from Ecuador but also other countries.
I'm also part of the Shine On Music club, where you can get free violin lessons and improve your music skills. 
I’m most excited about: The month of October because it comes with the Halloween spirit.
Where you can find me on campus: When I’m not hanging out with friends in the Nest or studying in the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, you’ll find me at every Vantage Peer Mentors event.

Cristian Brazales
: Bachelor of Applied Science (Computer Engineering major), second year
Interests: Video games and programming.
Students clubs I'm involved with: I'm part of the Ecuadorian Student Association, which is a great place to meet people from a similar background, share experiences, and enjoy their social events.
I'm most excited about: The Winter break and the opportunity to travel with my brother. I'm also looking forward to our Peer Mentor events this year, including Friday Funday!
Where you can find me on campus: I'm often hanging out in Vantage Commons.

Aya Hioki
Degree: Bachelor of Arts (Political Science major), third year 
Interests: Reading books, watching movies (especially musicals), ballet, cooking, and travelling. I'm always after new recommendations!
Student clubs I'm involved with: Joining the Krav Maga Self-Defense Club has been a great way to meet great people, get stronger, and learn how to protect myself from danger. I'm also part of the International Student Association (ISA) — it's great to be a part of UBC's international community and connect with new people from all over the world! 
I’m most excited about: I am excited about meeting all new Vantage students and all events that we are going to have!
Where you can find me on campus: When I'm not in Orchard Commons, I'm usually around Buchanan or the Marine Drive Residences.

Mirkka Puente
Degree: Bachelor of Science, second year
Interests: Hiking, watching videos on YouTube, and listening to indie music
Student clubs I'm involved with: I actually have not joined any clubs yet; however, I often volunteer around campus. I have gone to Reading Week social programs and the UBC Farm. I like visiting the farm because it helps to keep my mind relaxed, plus I love nature and I get rewarded with some delicious, organic vegetables. Harvest days at the farm is one my favorite activities in Vancouver!
I’m most excited about: I cannot wait for this upcoming Friday Funday with all the Vantage Peer Mentors! I'm excited to meet new Vantage students and have the chance to talk and have some fun. 
Where you can find me on campus: You can always find me in the Nest at lunch time. I love to go there for a Ph tea or just sit at the top of the building and listen to my favorite music.
Fun fact: I was present while Rita Ora was filming her video on the Nest! 

Tracey Xu 
Degree: Bachelor of Science, second year
Interests: Swimming at the new UBC Aquatic Centre, playing badminton, and watching animation.
Student clubs I'm involved with: As Councillor of the UBC Science Undergraduate Society, it's a group that makes you feel welcome, and it improves your skills in communication and critical thinking. Everyone in the society is really nice and truly passionate about worthwhile things.
I'm most excited about: UBC Science Week in January is a whole week full of activites that help science students celebrate their faculty and teach other UBC students about science. There are a lot of fun events like free breakfasts and karaoke.

Petra Yeung 
: Bachelor of Arts (Psychology major), second year
Interests: Travelling and playing table tennis.
Student clubs I'm involved with: As a Vantage Peer Mentor, I can share my past experience and meet new people.
I’m most excited about: The UBC Snowball Fight at Main Mall! It’s so much fun while everyone enjoys the cold and throws snowballs at each other. You should definitely grab your friends and join in.
Where you can find me on campus: You will always see me in the Nest, especially during lunch time!

Stella Zhu
Degree: Bachelor of Arts, second year
Interests: Swimming, playing the piano, dancing, singing, and writing.
I’m most excited aboutImagine Day is my favourite time of year because it's really special seeing freshmen at the very start of their UBC journey. It's also a good opportunity to get involved with new students and let them know about things like the Vantage Peer Mentor Program.

Luna Li
: Bachelor of Arts, fourth year
Interests: Hiking, reading and watching movies 
Student clubs I'm involved with: Sociology Student Association. The major-based association provide workshops, internship and activities for sociology students to develop and have fun. 
I'm most excited about: UBC homecoming, a thrilling party, is a great opportunities to reunite with old friends. 
Where you can find me on campus: Most of my classes are in Buchanan, Anso and Chemistry building. So find me in the west-end of the campus!