Kicking-off the semester with the Annual MRU World Cup

On Wednesday, September 11 over 100 students kicked-off the semester at the MRU's annual World Cup. Five teams competed for the chance to win, playing in a round robin-style tournament.

The event was a collaboration hosted by Recreation,International Education and the Students Association's Cultural Mosaic Centre, intended to allow international students to meet Mount Royal students.

The World Cup has been traditionally been an indoor soccer tournament hosted in November as part of International Education Week. This year, in an attempt to take advantage of the weather and outdoor fields the tournament was changed to the second week of September to showcase ways to meet friends and stay active throughout the semester.

Creating lasting connections

The champions celebrated with a round of karaoke.

The undefeated champions were all individual players who signed up not knowing one another. One of the players, Luis Camba, who is studying English for academic purposes at Mount Royal, said that playing in the World Cup not only gave him an opportunity to play his favorite sport but a chance to meet new friends.

"We ended up undefeated. Our team was a good team." Camba, who is originally from Venezuela, was placed on a team with students from Canada, El Savador and the Philippines.

After receiving the Cup, Camba and his team went out to celebrate. "We sang 'We are the Champions' at karaoke and had a lot of fun."

The friendships have continued to go beyond the field, when only a day later Camba ran into his teammate on the bus and convinced him to join his city soccer league.

Keeping the energy going

Competitors enjoyed a quick refuelling between games.

In addition to the tournament the Students Association, AIESEC Chapter and the Office of International Education set up booths to promote other events, activities and volunteer opportunities for students throughout the year.

"The event is important to sort of boost the energy on campus and allow new students to get a campus vibe. It is also a great opportunity for international students and MRU student to mingle," says Cultural Mosaic Centre Coordinator, Nick Beck.

Volunteering at the Cup

In addition to the various volunteers were crucial in making the event happen, past exchange students came to the event to help with the tournament.

Third year journalism student, Jocelyn Doll, was one of the volunteers at the event. As a past participant in the 2012 India Field School and a future outgoing exchange student to New Zealand in the winter of 2014, Jocelyn knows about the importance of meeting new friends while living abroad.

"I volunteered at the World Cup because I think encouraging exchange students to interact with Canadian students is really important. I also like the idea that sports breaks down all language and cultural barriers."

Jocelyn says that throughout the tournament she saw barriers being broken and many new friendships beginning but encourages other Canadians to take the time to introduce themselves to international students throughout the semester.

Throughout the year the Office of International Education collaborates with various other departments on campus offering a variety of events and activities for both international and domestic students. For more information visit the Office of International Education's Facebook Page.

Andrea Morrow - Sept. 19, 2013