Abhinav’s Story

Providing a helping hand for international students

Abhinav’s Story
CategoryStudent
NameAbhinav Chauhan
FromBangkok, Thailand
ProgramArts, Economics and International Relations
ActivitiesResidence Advisor, International Peer Advisor, president of World University Service Canada, Economics Students Association, and Model United Nations

 

Third-year student Abhinav Chauhan remembers what it was like to adjust to life in a new country. Initially from India, he came to UBC from Thailand and now volunteers as a Residence Advisor helping others with their transitions.

”Residence advising is something I got into because I had a brilliant advisor in my first year – it really helped me integrate into the community at UBC,” said Abhinav. “Many students feel like they don’t have a place they belong on campus, so as an advisor it’s my job to give them support ranging from academics to professional development.”

While residence advising can be a lot of work, Abhinav is enthusiastic about helping first-years in Totem Park Residence transition into life on campus.

“It’s very rewarding and you can really make a significant difference in someone’s first year.”

“I believe first year is something that you’ll remember more than any other year at university, so I try to make that as good as possible.”

Through the International Peer Advisor program, Abhinav also provides international students with information and support on a variety of issues including immigration, health insurance, employment, cultural transition, and campus services.

“This year we’ve tried to do a lot of workshops around campus about homesickness and cultural transition,” said Chauhan. “We’re reaching out to students and getting them that support so that they will be successful in their academics.”

As an international student, Chauhan has first-hand experience with these issues himself. When he first arrived at UBC, he was initially overwhelmed when adjusting to different aspects of Canadian life that he was not accustomed to. He stresses the necessity for international students to take initiative in seeking help on campus.

“As an international student, it’s really important that you reach out to the resources available. A lot of students tend to leave things to the last moment or not even make the effort to reach out. It’s a big challenge and it’s something you have to get used to, especially coming from a high school background where everything is just served to you.”

Aside from his involvement with Residence Life and International Peer Advising, Chauhan is also president of the World University Service Canada, vice-president of the Economics Students’ Association, and an active participant in Model United Nations conferences around the world. While the prospect of being involved in so many extracurricular activities may seem daunting to some students, Chauhan manages to juggle his diverse commitments successfully.

“I’ve started to plan out my day well in advance, a week – sometimes even a month in advance,” he said. “I do miss having a lot of the free time that I had in my first year, just going back from my classes and relaxing and chilling out with my friends, but at the same time it’s good that I’ve learnt to stay on top of things and manage my time efficiently.”

Latest Stories

Previous
Sanaa Shaikh student story

Transitioning to university

How Sanaa found her community through UBC Okanagan’s orientations
student

Transitioning to university

"It was a very fun, welcoming, and supportive environment. At no point did I feel like lonely or lost, despite just having moved to a different continent." - Sanaa Shaikh, BA in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics
Veronica Grant UBC Story

Hitting the ground running

How UBC's orientations helped Veronica prepare for her first day and beyond
student

Hitting the ground running

"Nothing was more helpful than actually being on campus and interacting with UBC’s community, soaking up first-hand what my future studying here was going to look like." - Veronica Grant, BA in Political Science and Psychology
Sarah Jane SJ Steele UBC Story

Life after UBC: a career helping others

How Sarah-Jane fulfilled her dream of becoming a midwife
alumni

Life after UBC: a career helping others

"UBC Midwifery is distinct in offering only a select number of seats. We knew each other’s children's names, and we attended each other’s births." - SJ Steele, Bachelor of Midwifery

Giving back to her community

How Kaila volunteers her time to increase diversity and inclusion in Engineering
student

Giving back to her community

"Hearing [female students] say they want to be an engineer one day because of those events and initiatives is extremely encouraging" - Kaila Spencer, BASc in Civil Engineering

Life after UBC: working at Canada's biggest bank

How Nene uses his UBC degree to help advance AI in finance
alumni

Life after UBC: working at Canada's biggest bank

"UBC is a world-class institution where you can define not only your long-term career, but who you are and the impact you intend on having locally and globally." - Nene Azu, Bsc in Economics

Helping build community

How Jimmy's experiences on both campuses allows him to give back to others
student

Helping build community

"UBC values the diverse and multicultural backgrounds of each student. Because of this, I never felt left out." - Jimmy Chokmeesuk, BA in Psychology

Trading Texas for Vancouver

How Anna found her community in a new country
student

Trading Texas for Vancouver

"I knew UBC was for me when I stepped on to campus for the first time for a campus tour, and had that "aha" moment." - Anna Stone, BSc in Global Resource Systems

Making an impact on the planet

How Ainsley decided to study what she loved
student

Making an impact on the planet

"I knew that nature and forests were always something I was interested in, but I had no idea they were something I could study at university!" - Ainsley Hannah, BSc in Natural Resources Conservation
next