Jude Omodon, international student and finance major, is currently a peer mentor within the International Village Living Learning Program (LLP). He decided to join this living-learning program because he wanted to experience a diverse community, learn about different cultures and also share his own story. Undeniably, he explained that the International Village Living Learning Program gave him the platform to do so.
This program allows students to have a meaningful international experience on campus. Through regular interactions with faculty, upper class mentors and staff, students are given the opportunity to explore others’ cultures and understand people from diverse parts of the world.
Located in Blazer Hall, one of the newest residence halls, the International Village LLP is open to all international and U.S. students looking to share their passions and learn about diverse cultures and people. Students who participate in this program learn about the current global challenges and work as a community to find a solution to these challenges through the use of cultural, social, community and academic–based activities or experiences.
Students living in the International Village are enrolled in a UK core course together for the fall semester, which gives students in the International Village LLP a good start to interacting with a diverse group of classmates and peer mentors.
“I always have stories to tell about my experiences,” Omodon said. “I get to work with an incredibly diverse group of students from all over the world. From Japan, from Korea, from Nigeria where I’m from, from England, and it’s so interesting bringing all of those places together.”
“Being able to work with international and U.S. students was an opportunity I really cared for,” Omodon said. “That’s why I decided to become a peer mentor. To be able to guide international students coming here for the first time.” Omodon said, that so far his experience of being a peer mentor has been wonderful.
“Student leadership is always something I looked towards and aspired for. I think this was a prime position for me to be a leader. But more importantly, for me to be a leader in something that means more to me,” Omodon said. “I got to see them make life decisions, career decisions, think about their majors, make friends, make mistakes, succeed in some things. I got to see them grow basically over the past couple months. I don’t think there is anything more important than seeing people move on to the next level with more confidence.”
Omodon also shared that as a peer mentor, he is responsible for planning and brainstorming events that would best fit his mentees.
“When I am researching what events would be beneficial to my mentees, I stumble across so many things,” Omodon said. “From financial literacy to cultural films in the student center, to hunger projects. It has literally opened my world.”
The International Village LLP offers a number of extracurricular activities that students can engage in. As a result, students are able to develop new friendships as they explore different cultures, attend community events and discover other opportunities to be involved on campus.
“I view the world in a much bigger picture now,” Omodon said. “I think it’s easy for a lot of people to forget other realities and other parts of the world.” Omodon mentions that as a good community builder, it is important to be aware of other realities and what is happening around the world. “I even go out of my way to learn about different cultures and I do my research, and I try to be more aware of the realities of other people.”
“Coming in as a new student, I know it is difficult to find your place on campus, but that’s the reason why we have the International Village LLP,” Omodon said. “It has the advantage of being diverse in all aspects, not only nationalities and race, but also ideas and cultures.”
If you’re considering joining the International Village LLP, Omodon advises you to not hesitate in doing so. Omodon said, “it can be a way that you find your voice, which is ultimately the most important thing about a college education and experience.”
Interested students can apply by visiting the UK Housing Application in the MyUK online portal. The deadline to apply for fall 2019 is May 1, 2019.
For more information visit https://internationalvillage.as.uky.edu/iv-apply or contact Karen Slaymaker, assistant director for International Student and Scholar Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.