Be brave,” said my 87-year-old grandfather.

It’s hard when you are studying half a world away from home.

Being an international student with no one to depend on is stressful and scary.

Being thrust into a brand new culture and environment, it’s easy to miss the security and comfort of home.

The food, language, feeling, traditions, and people that you have known all your life are 10,000 km away.

Here at the University of Waterloo, a culturally diverse and friendly area, students with similar backgrounds come together to create mini versions of home.

The CSA (Chinese Student Association) holds a variety of events every year for students who want to meet new people, get a taste (figuratively and literally) of home, and have some fun.

The CSA Orientation this term was held on Oct. 4 at 6pm in MC.

Here a room full of people were put in groups to socialize, do activities, and eat awesome food! Even though people just met, the charisma in the room was uplifting.

People were excited and happy to meet others: in fact, everyone helped to inflate more than 200 balloons in under 10 minutes.

Then, in groups, they began doing ice breaker activities around the room like the Duct Tape Game and the Balloon Hump.

This is a great way to meet people in a similar situation, and who are going through the same thing as you.

The CSA also held various contests, activities, photo booths, events (like the night market), and parties in the past.

If you ever feel homesick, follow the group on social media and keep up with upcoming events!

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