A natural fit
July 14, 2016
Okanagan (Kelowna, BC)
Bachelor of Arts (2014)
San José, Costa Rica
“I was looking for a world-class university with a community-oriented feel that would allow me to create connections with my classmates and professors.”
WORKING IN THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT INITIATIVE OFFICE at UBC’s Okanagan campus was a natural fit for Virginie Fostroy upon graduating from the Political Science, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) program.
Fostroy was born and raised in Costa Rica in a Belgian household, speaks four languages, and believes passionately in development policy that promotes equality for minority populations.
“By the time I was 14,” she says, “I knew I wanted to major in PPE. I had always loved Canada and Europe, so I primarily focused on these two areas for my university search.
“I quickly narrowed it down to UBC’s Okanagan campus. I was looking for a world-class university with a community-oriented feel that would allow me to create connections with my classmates and professors. I wanted a program that was both challenging and rewarding, while still allowing me to get heavily involved on campus. The PPE program at UBCO provided all of this.”
Prior to coming to UBC, Fostroy had never traveled independently or lived on her own, but she smoothly integrated into the campus due to the many available programs, services and opportunities.
The International Integrated Learning Community—a residence for international students—celebrates diversity and understanding of different cultures represented on campus. There, Fostroy worked with students from India, Bali, the US, Belgium, Costa Rica, China, and Canada to host discussion nights, holiday events, and an international fashion show that showcased dresses from more than 12 countries and involved 40 models.
“I am extremely grateful to be on a campus that accepts student initiatives,” she says. “Even first-year students are given opportunities to lead, organize events and get involved on campus. UBC allowed me to work on my strengths and become an even better leader than I was before university.”
A CAMPUS FULL OF OPPORTUNITIES
Fostroy took every opportunity she could to get involved on campus. During her undergraduate degree she worked as a peer mentor, a teaching assistant, a multidisciplinary tutor and a Jumpstart assistant, helping first-year students with everything from course registration to homesickness.
In her role with the International Student Initiative office, Fostroy advised students, conducted market research, and presented to prospective students both nationally and internationally on UBC programs.
“From group work to research, everything I did in class and on campus had a direct correlation to my role.”
BENEFITS OF A MULTIDISICPLINARY LENS
“Being in a multidisciplinary degree program tremendously helped me as I was constantly analysing political theories and economic events through all the lenses in PPE.
“All in all, my UBC experience gave me a fantastic foundation for my professional life, and the PPE program helped form both manifest and latent skills that are remarkably useful.”