Transitioning from another country can be hard on so many levels, and it was no different for Chibale when he moved to Canada to attend university. Originally from Zambia, Chibale had to become more independent and expose himself to new opportunities, so that he could quickly adapt to his new cultural surroundings. At Simon Fraser University, Chibale has explored several academic areas and he is following his ultimate passion for economics as he aspires to become a Certified Financial Analyst. With this goal in mind, Chibale takes advantage of volunteer opportunities to gain valuable experience and to network with different employers. He also seeks the help and wisdom of his peers and friends that he has made through joining the SFU African Student Association. Appreciating his experiences, Chibale strongly believes in the value of “ubuntu”, which means community of people. He wants “the [African student diasporic] community to stay strong” and tells them to “never forget where you are from” and share your experiences to support one another.
As a third year Political Science student, Munatsi has encountered life-changing experiences while studying at Simon Fraser University. Munatsi moved from Zimbabwe to Vancouver, where he lived in campus residence for several terms and was engaged by his peers in many community activities. He became a member of the SFU African Student Association and it wasn’t long before Munatsi started to take on a prominent role within the club by serving as the Club’s vice president and later as president. Munatsi’s experiences have instilled him with confidence and he is honing his community leadership skills for future career ambitions. Munatsi uses club events to create an environment for members to share the gamut of their international student experiences as a way to support each other. He hopes that alumni will stay connected because their experiences and stories resonate with new and current students. In other words “don’t underestimate the power of your own story”, Munatsi says.