André’s story

Enhancing the student experience for peers through Jump Start program

By UBC Public Affairs

André’s story
CategoryStudent
NameAndré Tate
FromJamaica
ProgramEconomics
ActivitiesStudent Representative at Association of Professional Economists of British Columbia, Sauder’s Finance Club, Jump Start student leader

 

If André Tate, a fourth-year economics student from Jamaica, had one piece of advice for the international students arriving at UBC this week, he would tell them to just dive in.

Getting involved in campus life made Tate feel “empowered to do many things.”

Tate found the transition to UBC and Canadian culture difficult. He spent a good chunk of first year hanging out in his residence room alone, a radical change from his academic life in Jamaica. Before beginning second year, he decided to volunteer to be a Jump Start student leader, helping the incoming class of students with their transition to university.

Many international students who end up at UBC are leaders in their high schools and communities back home. “They often have high expectations for themselves at the post-secondary level but coming from different cultures and circumstances means that they need some additional support,” says Caroline Rueckert, program director for Jump Start, a program that helps to ease the transition to UBC and Canada. They also have the opportunity to connect with their Faculty and build important relationships that will serve them throughout their UBC careers. Throughout first year, students are grouped together by faculty into Learning Communities and meet regularly with two peer mentors and a faculty mentor. This helps build a community and provides additional support to help students navigate their studies.

“It gave me a chance to break out,” Tate says, explaining that after Jump Start he plunged in to other extracurricular activities.

He joined Sauder’s Finance Club and became the executive in charge of sponsorship for the Pacific Venture Capital Conference and Competition. He spent a summer volunteering with a venture capitalist and has been elected to the board of the Association of Professional Economists of British Columbia as the student representative.

Tate also wanted to do something to enhance the student experience for his peers. He hopes to bring influential economists, like a representative from the Bank of Canada, to UBC so economics students can hear about their work. “Meeting people who are doing what you want to do is inspiring,” he says. To make this happen, he founded the first Canadian chapter of Oikos International, a student-run organization that focuses on sustainable economic management.

Ultimately Tate intends to return to Jamaica where he hopes to use what he’s learned and experienced to strengthen the country’s economy. He is one of only five students from Jamaica studying at UBC and it was only because of an International Leader of Tomorrow scholarship that he had the opportunity to pursue studies here.

“I know so many friends from high school who could do so much but the money is not there for them to get the same experience as me, to come to a school like UBC,” he says.

Students from over 150 countries study at UBC. The university boasts such global representation in part because it offers support for students like Tate, who are from regions like Palestine, Vietnam, and Swaziland, where there is less opportunity to study abroad.

“We are living in an interconnected world and today’s students will need to work with people from a multitude of backgrounds and experiences,” says Angela Redish, vice provost and associate vice president, Enrolment and Academic Facilities for UBC’s Vancouver campus. “To provide UBC students with a true opportunity to engage as global citizens, they must have the chance to meet students from every corner of the world.”

Photo: Martin Dee.

Read the full story at UBC News.

Latest Stories

Previous
Danielle G UBC Okanagan Geography student

Pursuing a second degree in Human Geography

Danielle’s experiences as a Geography student UBC Okangan
student

Pursuing a second degree in Human Geography

"As someone who is interested in the humanities and social sciences, an Arts degree at UBC was perfect for me as it allowed me to broaden my knowledge through a variety of different classes, while gaining the necessary requirements for my career goals and graduate school." - Danielle G., Geography
Sophie H. on the Okanagan campus

Exploring cultural theory and social change

UBC Okanagan Arts student Sophie on the power of a Cultural Studies degree
student

Exploring cultural theory and social change

“It is one thing to identify what is wrong with this world, but it’s another to see how people are managing to live and finding joy within it. Because this is where the changes are happening.” - Sophie H., Cultural Studies

Choosing research in Nursing at UBC Okanagan

How Nursing student Dresya is tackling late detection of breast cancer to improve patient outcomes.
student

Choosing research in Nursing at UBC Okanagan

"The program pushes me to redefine what it means to be a 'nurse' daily. There has not been a day where I have not learned something new. Whether it is delving into the pathophysiology of a disease or acquiring a new clinical skill, the learning never stops. In my experience, the program at UBC Okanagan also understands the profound importance of people in nursing. It pushed me to look beyond mastering the scientific basis of nursing, and incorporate the patient's lived experiences into the care I provide." - Dresya D., BSN

Helping Indigenous communities through Nursing

How Ashley made the career change from marketing to nursing, with the aim of making a positive difference within the Indigenous community.
student

Helping Indigenous communities through Nursing

"Once I complete my schooling, my aim is to work closely within the Indigenous population. My passion lies in patient-centered care and ensuring cultural safety, and I'm eager to make a meaningful impact in these areas." - Ashley H., Bachelor of Science in Nursing

An artist's journey to building community

How UBC Okanagan Fine Arts student Ziv fosters community among UBC's international students as an International Peer
student

An artist's journey to building community

"As an International Peer, I aim to introduce the supportive and inclusive environment UBC has for new students to thrive in. I hope to foster a sense of community and belonging among the international student population, because building connections and relationships is crucial to a positive university experience." - Ziv W., Bachelor of Fine Arts

Having a blast getting to know UBC Vancouver

Bachelor of Science student Kayree on taking part in Jump Start Vancouver, Imagine Day and Collegia
student

Having a blast getting to know UBC Vancouver

"Jump Start helped me transition into university life by introducing me to people that took the same classes as me. The orientation leaders for Jump Start also did an amazing job touring us around UBC despite it being so big. I got used to the map of campus within a week." - Kayree R., Bachelor of Science

Getting ready for university

How Academic Essentials prepared Rajalakshmi for life at UBC Vancouver
student

Getting ready for university

"[Academic Essentials] was a great way to get a taste of university life and explore different aspects of academic work. I was able to see how the same content taught to me can be approached and understood in different ways. The feedback and support from the peers and mentors in the program helped me feel more confident in what I knew, while allowing me to learn and grow." - Rajalakshmi N., Bachelor of Applied Science

Finding confidence as a first-year student

How UBC Okanagan’s Orientations helped Soumil feel comfortable and confident before classes started
student

Finding confidence as a first-year student

“Jump Start was incredibly helpful in helping me to make friends before school began. Through the program, I was able to meet a lot of new people who were also incoming first-year students. We participated in a variety of activities and events together, which helped us to bond and get to know each other better. By the time classes started, I already had a solid group of friends who I could turn to for support and advice.” - Soumil C., BSc in Computer Science
next