Discovering an engaging international community via Globalink

Globalink student Zoey Li reflects on her experiences of multicultural Canada and discovers the power of teamwork

When Zoey’s professor in China described Mitacs Globalink as an international research program that could transform her perception of the world forever, she immediately applied.  Becoming part of a global community was a lifelong dream for this passionate medicine student and she was thrilled when she received the offer to do cancer detection research with Dr. Tim Storr in the Department of Chemistry at Simon Fraser University.

Upon her arrival, Zoey was pleasantly surprised by Vancouver’s diversity.  “Even in my lab we have at least one person from all five continents” she said with a smile.  Learning how to communicate with different people from various backgrounds is something she sees as being essential to her success in a multicultural world.  Her favourite memory with her lab-mates is when they watched the 2012 opening ceremonies for the Olympics together and discussed how the Olympic rings served as a symbol for their research team: different colors, cultures and nations connecting to achieve a common goal.

The international networks Zoey has built while in Canada will support her throughout the rest of her academic, professional and personal life.  “While climbing Grouse Mountain with the other Globalink students, I felt the real power of team work.  We were so tired half-way up but we all motivated each other.  I know that the strength of our group extends past conquering physical obstacles – our team supports one another through challenges in school and in life.  We show each other that there is nothing we cannot overcome”.

Zoey says she will leave Canada as a more mature, independent and confident individual.  Her experiences through Globalink have shown her the importance of having a multicultural perspective and the power that comes from connecting with others.  “I know I will cry when I leave Canada” she confesses, “but no matter where my future takes me, I know that the international community I have built during my time here will remain with me – always”.

Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and Research Manitoba.

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