Introducing GSA New International Student Coordinator for Academic 2021-2022 Year

Introducing GSA New International Student Coordinator for Academic 2021-2022 Year 

By Shu-Feng Tsao, GSA International Student Coordinator
October 1, 2021

Hello everyone, my name is Shu-Feng Tsao (she/her), a PhD candidate in School of Public Health Sciences (SPHS), Faculty of Health. I’m your International Student Coordinator at GSA for the academic 2021-2022 year. My role aims to help create and maintain positive experiences for international graduate students at University of Waterloo (UW). As some of you have met me in in-person or online events for international graduate students, I host events for us not only to stay connected, but also to actively listen to concerns that need to be addressed.

Although some in-person classes and activities have resumed with limited capacity, we have welcomed more international graduate students on campus starting this fall 2021 term. It has been a wonderful pleasure to finally meet someone in person after almost two years of remote learning and working. GSA have planned more in-person activities and continued online events simultaneously for this 2021-2022 academic year, while acknowledging uncertainties due to the ongoing pandemic.

Besides events, my role involves in relevant committees and GSA initiatives that highly impact international students. International graduate students have accounted for approximately 40% of all UW graduate students, so our perspectives and experiences do matter. Looking at our GSA members, it’s not difficult to find international graduate students serving on leadership roles to advocate for us. This International Student Blog is an example of how we can get involved with GSA and contribute to each other. Initiated by the previous International Student Coordinator–Navya V Nair (current GSA Residence Coordinator) and previous Vice President Administration—Cindy HT Yeung, the International Student Blog has been an important voice for us and for GSA. Therefore, to continue building our community for international graduate students, we’re looking for fellows to write a blog featuring the following topics:

  • Culture: Featuring both adjusting and learning about the Canadian lifestyle and getting to know the vibrant cultures of our international graduate students.
  • Life: Tips and experiences on a wide range of subjects, including budgeting and finances, housing, family, caregiving, planning to settle in Canada, and wellness.
  • Career: Topics related to career development, such as tips on finding a start-up or company to work at.
  • Studies: Advice related to the international graduate students’ study and research experience.
  • Resources: Experiences with using resources as international graduate students at the University of Waterloo.

The GSA’s International Student Blog is written by and for our fellow international graduate students as we empower each other by sharing our experiences or stories. If you have an interest in writing a blog post or would like to request a post topic, send me an email at

Last Updated: October 25, 2021

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