From Researching to Building Community with Danai Belanger

Guest speaker Danai Belanger is mastering her career as an international student advisor at UBC Okanagan, working to build more inclusive and collaborative communities. Danai graduated with her Masters of Education from UBC Okanagan in 2018. She decided to pursue her degree to explore the role that higher education institutions have in fostering community within an international student context. As an international student herself, she realized the importance of cultivating campus community and shining light on the complex cross-cultural issues that international students face. Throughout her career, she has advocated for greater access to institutional leadership for international students. She is passionate about helping newcomers to Canada feel a sense of belonging to their communities, and interfacing between international students and the greater UBC community. In this presentation, Danai talks about:

  • Her graduate student experience and what she wishes she knew when she began her studies
  • How her studies helped facilitate her passions and helped her within her career
  • Why she chose to stay at UBC Okanagan to pursue a career after her studies
  • How a sense of community for UBC Okanagan students be fostered in this new remote learning environment
  • Experiences of being a UBC alumni and how she was supported after graduation
  • Job hunting and career preparation tips
  • Time management tips, handling workload as a graduate student and navigating work life balance