We asked UBC international students to share their unique perspectives on the 2010 Games

UBC is home to more than 7,000 international students from 155 countries. Read more of their stories at: grad.ubc.ca/international/meetstudents.asp

International media: Contact a UBC media relations specialist to connect with UBC students from your country.


Kaifeng, China
Wei Shi, PhD Candidate
Faculty of Applied Science
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Researching next generation communication technologies

“My friends and I are getting tickets for a Chinese women’s hockey game at UBC Thunderbird Arena. I also want to be a guide for Chinese people. UBC has a Chinese scholars’ and students’ association, so I am checking with them to see how I can best support my country. I didn’t get to experience the Beijing Games first-hand because I was in Vancouver.”

Blaubeuren, Germany
Hannes Dempewolf, PhD candidate
Faculty of Science, Botany
Biodiversity Research Centre
Researching crop evolution and agriculture biodiversity conservation

“My sister lives in the town where Germany’s national speed-skating team trains, so I will definitely be cheering for them. My fiancée – I met her at UBC – is a huge hockey fan, so we’ll be watching that too. We are also going to try to check out some of the cultural events. I am really curious to see what life will be like during the Games.”

sophiaNew York, United States
Sophia Woodman, PhD
Faculty of Arts, Sociology
Has researched social rights and social welfare in China on a US Student Fulbright Award

“I did fieldwork in China starting just after the Beijing Games, so it was interesting to hear people’s thoughts. I was in Tianjin, about 160 km southeast of Beijing. Banners and slogans welcoming the Olympics were still visible everywhere. Generally, people were enthusiastic, proud of hosting the Games and spoke of a sense of ownership. Bear in mind though, leading up to the Games people elsewhere in the country who were critical of the Olympics were suppressed or imprisoned.”

arvindAligarh, India
Arvind Saraswat, PhD candidate
College of Interdisciplinary Studies
Resource Management and Environmental Studies
Researching urban air pollution, human health and policy in India

“My advice to people coming to Vancouver for Games? Make sure to visit Stanley Park, Whistler and UBC, especially Nitobe Garden and, my favorite, Koerner’s Pub. Bring lots of warm clothes. Don’t worry about the food or people in Vancouver because they are the best. I am really looking forward to when the Olympic torch comes to UBC.”

costanzaArcore, Italy
Costanza Casiraghi, PhD Candidate
Faculty of Graduate Studies
Microbiology and Immunology
Researching the involvement of viruses in the development of multiple sclerosis

“These will be my second Olympics because I lived in Italy during the Torino Games. I will always remember the closing ceremonies, when former Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan appeared on the stage in his wheelchair to accept the Olympic flame. We saw this as very progressive, because leaders with disabilities are unheard of in Italy.”

yukiTokyo, Japan
Yuki Shirato, MBA Candidate
Sauder School of Business
Researching business strategy and management

“I follow bobsledding and figure skating, so I am really excited to see Mao Asada and Miki Ando of Japan take on their big rivals Joannie Rochette of Canada and Yu-Na Kim of Korea. During the Games, my plan is to volunteer, hopefully as a Japanese-English translator.”

katieStoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Katie Morton, PhD Candidate
Faculty of Education
School of Human Kinetics
Exercise and Sport Psychology Lab

“Normally you just hear the good things about the Olympics, but living in a host city has kind of opened my eyes. You get exposed to some of the more negative things, like homelessness and the environmental impacts of some of the big construction projects.”