Update from Mzizima Alumni at UBC

04 December 2009

Former Mzizima Student now a UBC Scholar

Mehak TejaniMehak Tejani received her IB Diploma at AKMSS in 2008. She is currently in her second year at the University of British Columbia and was awarded a full scholarship (International Leader of Tomorrow award) by the university.

“I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics at the University of British Columbia.
As I reflect on my time at Mzizima, I understand that my Mzizima and IB experience helped me tremendously with my independence. I had to learn how to become an independent thinker and learner. My role in the Student Council taught me how to take my own initiative for the things I'd like to see happen in school, for changes I wished to happen. This has helped me greatly at university especially living independently for the first time away from home. 
 
After arriving at UBC I quickly realised that academics are not the only part of school that is important. I encourage Mzizima students to engage in extra-curricular activities – play a sport, learn a new instrument, act in a play, take part in a debate. Education is all about being well-rounded, and becoming an all-rounded student opens doors and opportunities.
 
 At UBC, as a Residence Advisor, I have been involved in the planning and implementation of Jump Start 2009, an international student orientation program that aims at easing the transition of new international students into university academics and social life. Currently, I work as a Student Ambassador under the International Student Initiative at UBC, leading campus tours for both domestic and international prospective students and their parents. I am also looking forward to being involved with the International Week, an annual event aimed at celebrating the diversity and pluralistic nature of the UBC community.
The last two years, if nothing, have taught me to seek and grab opportunities as they come; opportunities to learn, opportunities to share, and opportunities to represent. Living in as pluralistic society as that of Canada has not only helped me gain valuable experiences from my encounters with different cultures but has also helped me create my own identity and further develop my perspective as an international Tanzanian student.
I have come to realize that although there is a lot to take home, there is also a lot to give; and it is our responsibility as Tanzanian students living outside our home country to represent our views, our culture, our norms and traditions. It is up to us to create the awareness of our strength as Africans and change the external view of Africa and show it as a continent with exceptional potential and resilience.” – Mehak Tejani