Meet Your Orientation Leaders!

Post by Nelly & Katrina, UBC Vantage Orientation Assistants 
We know you're probably excited to start Vantage College this year, but you're not the only one - your fun and friendly Orientation Leaders this year can't wait to meet you! They will be the students to help you settle in and learn all you need to know about UBC and Vancouver. Here's what they want you to know:


Carla is from Ecuador and is currently studying Environment & Sustainability

Coming a long way from Ecuador, UBC was Carla’s top university choice for its world-renowned quality of education. She has found a program that suits her interest in the environment through UBC’s Geography department. An active part of the Vantage One community, Carla decided to be an Orientation Leader for incoming Vantage students in order to replicate the assistance she first received when coming to Vancouver. Furthermore, Carla is also a Peer Mentor, which means she will also mentor students beyond orientation into their year with Vantage One.

If you ever feel like working outside of the UBC bubble, Carla is more than happy to show you the Vancouver Public Library downtown with its impressive design where you can study while enjoying the vibrant city.  As an international student living on her own, homesickness was one of the most difficult things she struggled with this year, however, the special friends she’s made from all over the world have become her new family which acts as her support group here. This was made clear when her friend came to the rescue as Carla’s card was having problems at the grocery store. Her friend came all the way from the residences to the supermarket at the university town just to help Carla get out of a sticky situation! A friend in need is a friend indeed.  

Yichun is from China and is pursuing a degree in Science & Psychology

Yichun was one of the first generations of Vantage College students. Being in the first group of Vantage students, she was lost and anxious; and that’s why she has decided to become a Student Orientation Leader: make the incoming students feel safe and supported. She believes that the friends you make during orientation can be your friends for the rest of your years at university!

Yichun is also a fan of the UBC Okanagan campus, where she completed her Capstone presentation, and there is no doubt that her love for UBC Okanagan comes from how proud she was of her final project. After contemplating changing her major several times, Yichun is now pursuing a Science Major and a Psychology Minor:  

“I want future students to know that it’s important not to limit yourself. Don’t worry about making the decisions right away. Keep your mind open and always talk to your advisors.”

Melodie is from France and is currently studying International Relations

A talented harp player with an interest in International Affairs, Melodie came to UBC realizing that both the city and the university offer excellent multicultural experiences from their diverse groups. In the middle of this environment, Melodie found the Vantage College set standard timetable has helped her in creating her own community of close friends as it allowed for the formation of study groups with classmates who became best friends.

Wanting to share the amazing experience she’s had at UBC, Melodie decided to become a Vantage Orientation Leader so that she will be able to assist new students with navigating university life in Canada. In preparing for the cultural differences that exist within friend groups and in the city, Melodie wants you to know that it’s alright to get out of your comfort zone!

Be open minded, leave preconceptions behind, and have fun learning from your peers as well as your classes.

If you ever need a hand in getting around, in making friends from different backgrounds, or simply just to try out new restaurants in the city, this International Relations major will surely be willing to assist you!

Aya Hikoi is from Japan and she is studying Political Science & International Relations

Travelling all the way from Japan, Aya chose UBC for its outstanding reputation. She is interested in martial arts, singing, dancing, and movies, and is an active member and executive at the UBC Kendo Club. Staying within comfort zones is never an option for her! She encourages the students to step out of their comfort zone and get involved on campus. Getting engaged with the environment helped her defined herself, and she thinks that future Vantage students can benefit from getting involved as well. During her time at Vantage College, she found the Vantage Academic English Preparation, a program providing English tutoring for Vantage students, really helpful. Imagine Day is the first day Vantage students will get to hang out with each other as a group, and Aya hopes to contribute to make Imagine Day even better and more friendly to incoming students!

Yuli Guan is from China and pursuing an Arts degree

Yuli is a third year Arts students at UBC, and one of her favorite memories was when she was doing group projects with other Vantage students: “I never did any projects that requires more than three people's cooperation before. But we had a political science term project to do as a group of 6 people. Although we were from four different countries, cooperating was not as hard as I thought. Everybody completed their assigned work on time with good quality, and I learned how to use online tools such as Google Docs and Facebook groups to cooperate effectively.”

As an orientation leader, Yuli encourages students to practice their English ahead of time:

“You will find out that almost every course requires you to do the reading before the lecture. Learning the words that might be appearing frequently on the subjects you are studying will save you a lot of time because you won't need to look up something in the dictionary too frequent. It will also help you to acquire knowledge easily from the lecture.”

Carla, Yichun, Melodie, Aya, Yuli and many more orientation leaders can't wait to get to know you! They look forward to welcoming you to UBC this summer.