TRU is a culturally diverse community, where it aims to enhance learning and teaching using intercultural approaches. It aims to provide a foundation for educators to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action which include: “Build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.”
The intercultural student mentor program is a comprehensive program that is intended for full-time undergraduate students on campus. The intercultural team members will receive training in intercultural skills and opportunities to engage in events, without the work commitments involved in being an ambassador.
The program’s main purpose is to provide opportunities for personal, professional, and academic development. In addition, students get a chance to build their intercultural communication skills, as well as gain career and networking experiences.
TRU recognizes the Intercultural Ambassadors are making an important addition to TRU. Therefore, specific year awards are given; it ranges from attending a conference, or even participating in a relevant conference. Also, Students who satisfy all the requirements will receive an honorarium at the end of each program semester (Fall 2021 and Winter 2022).
The application for Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 has closed but if you are interested in intercultural studies, you can attend some workshops or register in academic courses at TRU that have an intercultural focus such as, CMNS 3510, ANTH 2150 and many more courses.
The purpose of this program to be offered in TRU as Kyra Garson intercultural coordinator says “to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to engage respectfully and with humility across cultural contexts,” Furthermore, “They intentionally and reflectively increase their awareness of socio-cultural diversities, including their own. They apply their intercultural understanding in ways that demonstrate a valuing of diversity, recognition of privilege and power, and a commitment to social justice and inclusion.” Says Garson
A past intercultural ambassador Harminder Padda shares their experience “Intercultural education has changed my perspective in many ways. It has added depth to my understanding of how different upbringing shapes various ways of thinking, ultimately impacting our values and viewpoints,” “In my perspective, the starting point of EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion) and anti-racism truly is by recognizing one’s own beliefs, values and subconscious biases. I have understood that change begins with myself by identifying these aspects, which is a crucial stepping stone to intercultural work. Now that I have overcome these learning hurdles, I can now do my part in moving towards a more inclusive and equitable community.” Says Padda.
Additionally, Padda advises students to “engage in intercultural education because it provides personal, professional and academic benefits. You will develop transferable skills in any field of work. It allows you to network and connects with fellow students who have similar passions, along with faculty and staff members who are very supportive. Building skills to interact and communicate across differences is now essential for success and effective collaboration with others.”