Every year, King’s hosts an International Bridging Week to help incoming international students settle into Canadian university life and discover London. This year, we saw the largest Bridging group on campus. A major part of Bridging Week is the Bridging Assistants (BA) who facilitate all the events and programming. As a BA this year, I had one of the most enriching experiences and learned so much about different cultures that I probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise. Read on to find out why you should apply to be a Bridging Assistant next year!
1. You get to meet new international students from all around the world.
As a Bridging Assistant, you meet a huge group of students from China, India, Brazil, England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan, and Korea, just to name a few. They are here either on exchange for four months or 8 months or for a degree program. You are responsible for making them feel at home in this one week and ensure that they have a smooth transition into OWeek and Canadian university life.
2. It’s completely free.
Unlike many other leadership programs, being a Bridging Assistant is completely free. You don’t have to worry about a single dollar, be it meals or travel. In fact, you even get meal money for when you go on excursions!
3. Cool King's swag.
As a Bridging Assistant, you get t-shirts that make you stand apart from the crowd. These t-shirts are personalized with your names and are super cool to wear even throughout the academic year. Sport that King’s representation!
4. Free excursions to Grand Bend and Niagara.
A Bridging Week tradition is an excursion to Niagara Falls. It’s completely free for Bridging Assistants, including the Hornblower cruise. This year, the International Office added a trip to Grand Bend in the itinerary.
5. It’s right before OWeek.
Since Bridging Week is right before OWeek, and before classes begin, you don’t have to worry about studying or missing classes or readings. Once Bridging Week ends, you have ample time to relax before the hectic study routine starts.
6. You work with the International Office and with other cool international and Canadian bridging assistants.
a part of a wonderful team with the best dynamic. Your fellow Bridging Assistants are both international students and Canadian students, and cultural exchange already starts taking place before you know it. These BAs become your friends and family for this week, and even after that.
7. A super cool banquet dinner and dance.
Another Bridging tradition at the end of the week, is the banquet dinner and dance, a time for everybody to relax and destress. This is another wonderful opportunity to get to know others and make friends.
8. You find out about resources at King’s and in London that you probably didn’t know about.
A major part of Bridging Week are the workshops and talks that are scheduled for students and BAs alike to find out about resources at King’s and living in London. From University Essay Writing and Effective Learning Strategies, to Living and Working in London, the Bridging program covers everything.
9. You get to introduce London and King’s to people who don’t know it from your perspective.
As a BA, you take your Bridging students around King’s and London, and talk to them about your experience. These curious international students have numerous questions, and they seek answers from you. In the process, they get to know about the community from your perspective and experiences.
10. You become a part of a family.
Most importantly, you become
a part of a family of people who hail from the International Office, be it Canadian or international. You attend events throughout the year and meet the same faces repeatedly on various occasions.
Now that you know more details about what we BAs do, I’m sure you must be wondering how you become a part of the Bridging team. Come February or March, keep an eye out for an announcement on the King’s website calling for an application. I look forward to seeing a lot more of you on the Bridging team next year, King’s!