Welcome to the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus.
I’m excited that you’ve decided to pursue your university studies here, and I congratulate you on this choice.
Like many of you, I am an international guest in Canada. I came to Augustana four years ago from the state of Maine in the United States. Most of you have come longer distances; many of you have crossed an ocean; and, unlike me, you are adapting to and learning how to function in a second language.
Nonetheless, like you, I have been a newcomer in an unfamiliar setting. Fortunately, what I have discovered is that Augustana is a warm and welcoming place. The students, faculty, and staff who comprise this community are committed to making our campus a place where cultural and international differences create opportunities to form new friendships and expand learning opportunities for everyone.
During my career in post-secondary education, I have served as a faculty member and administrator at several universities. One thing I have tried to foster in all of these places is a commitment to global engagement—for example, through international student recruitment, overseas study and travel opportunities, and the promotion of diverse language and culture courses. I was pleased to discover that these are areas of strength at Augustana, but I know that we can always do more. Toward that end, I welcome your ideas.
My personal hopes for you are twofold: first, that you will find Augustana a place where you can learn and grow and begin to achieve whatever dreams matter most to you; second, that you will become actively involved with peers from Canada and beyond, together contributing to one another’s educational journey.
As you begin your studies here, I encourage you to get to know Feisal Kirumira and Wayne Lee-Ying. Feisal and Wayne help organize programs and academic support for international students. Another important resource is Corinne Williams in the Student Services Office. Corinne can answer questions and provide assistance with many practical matters (e.g., visas, immigration, healthcare, and employment).
There are many others on campus—for example, faculty members and resident assistants—who can be excellent sources of information and support.
I look forward to meeting each of you myself, learning about your story, and supporting you in your aspirations. Welcome and best wishes.