Hi my name is Mami. Nice to meet you all!
My life at the UAlberta campus is great in terms of community, facilities and programs.
I am from Tokyo, Japan and I decided to come to the University of Alberta to participate in their women’s volleyball program. I have played libero position for the Pandas (UAlberta’s women volleyball team) and I have coached a couple times with the UAlberta summer camps, beach volleyball camp, and youth panda’s club team program.
My days are usually scheduled around my volleyball training schedule, so usually during a typical week I do weight lifting three times a week and practice volleyball five days a week at the Saville Center at UAlberta’s South Campus. Currently I live just outside of campus, about a 5 minute bus ride away. My neighborhood is very quiet and it also helps that the bus comes 4-5 times per hour and takes me straight to South Campus! As you can imagine, my favorite place to hang out is the Saville Center, where I enjoy watching the Golden Bears’ and Pandas basketball and volleyball games that take place at the center.
I have only taken a few courses at UAlberta since I am registered as a “special student”, I take classes in the Native Studies faculty. Some memorable course I have taken at UAlberta are Christian theology at St Joseph's (CHRTC 381), Christian Religious Education and the Adolescent/ Young Adult with professor Corrigan, Paul and Introduction to sociology(SOC 110). My sociology prof Dr. Barret Weber and also my Christianity professor were absolutely two of my favorite professors. The courses were very dynamic and approachable, the two knew what they were doing as professionals so if I could take the course again, I would. I thought that these two courses were important to take as outsider to help understand western society and their fundamental ways of thinking. Sociology taught me to understand Canadian society, because I learned that North American society is structured largely from religious beliefs in terms of morals and education; I loved learning from these classes that I took at UAlberta’s St. Joseph's College. These two courses made me love Canadian culture even more than before. These are both introductory courses so I think as second language student, its manageable to receive better grades in them :)
This summer I helped out by coaching at the UAlberta summer camps. My first week I spent with 8-12 years old boys and girls and during my second week I was with 11-15 years junior girls. The camp was pretty fun and I was very proud of the girls I coached, who had fun and played hard throughout the week! I also worked with excellent head coaches who run the whole camps really well! It was very cool to engage with the community in a bigger role as volleyball player, and to share and teach the joys of sports! I love Alberta and the community here, especially the caring, loving, unique, fun, history of the UAlberta sports program – it is so beautiful. I am glad that I chose to come play sports for UAlberta and have had a great time here meeting amazing coaches and the Pandas and Bears family.
I have some final advice for other international students thinking about studying at the University of Alberta. Remember to “STICK WITH YOUR PLAN”. Living abroad means that sometimes there will be tough situations and things that aren’t always going your way, but don't lose your confidence and show your perseverance! Also be positive about this new challenge in your life and be happy for being who you are. Make lots of friends; be open to others rather being afraid. Respect the cultural differences and appreciate people who are very kind and friendly to you :)