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Canadian Campus Newswire

Source: University of Prince Edward Island
http://www.upei.ca/cgi-new/view.cgi?id=3217

Hon. Barbara A. Hagerman Initiates Ambassador Family Program

October 16, 2006

This year UPEI is
celebrating 50 years of international students. In 1956, four students from
Hong Kong came to PEI to study. International students have been an integral
part of UPEIís campus life and the PEI community. With a large group of new
international students entering UPEI this year, there is an opportunity for
the PEI community to actively welcome and support these students from around
the world.

The Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island is leading an initiative to
match families with international students at UPEI. There are currently 54
students from 20 countries who are new to the university this Fall. The
majority are visiting Canada for the first time. They are often overwhelmed
and homesick. For a successful first year they need to feel connected. The
Lieutenant Governor, in partnership with UPEI, is putting a call out to PEI
families to serve as ambassador families to these students.

"My husband and I are very much looking forward to acting as an ambassador
family for six international students and we encourage other Island families
to embrace this idea," says Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman.

Each ambassador family will be asked to meet the student and invite him/her
home at least three times a year. It will also be helpful to connect with
the student every few weeks during their first year at UPEI. There will be a
gathering arranged for all families during the school year, as a thank you
for serving as a ambassador families.

Heather and Brian Howat of Charlottetown assumed an unofficial role as an
ambassador family to a Kenyan student three years ago, assisting him to
overcome many of the challenges that result from being far from home and
experiencing a new country and culture for the first time. This student is
now completing his fourth year as an Economics major and hopes to settle in
PEI.

"The experience has been a very rewarding one for our family and we have
easily gained as much or more from this shared experience as he has," says
Heather.

Being an ambassador family provides an opportunity for PEI residents to
welcome a student to the province, learn about another country, and support
a studentís success. The experience of international students recruited to
study at UPEI will be enhanced significantly by this opportunity to connect
with the larger PEI community, resulting in a positive contribution to their
academic success and overall satisfaction.

If you are interested in being an ambassador family please contact Joy
Ikede, UPEI International Student Advisor, at jikede@upei.ca or 894-2823.

Contact Name: Anne McCallum Department: Media Relations and Communications
Phone: 902-566-0760 Email: aemccallum@upei.ca


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