Hockey goes global at UAlberta

(Edmonton) It wasn’t playoff hockey, but there was still a special buzz in Clare Drake Arena when some 600 University of Alberta international students wore their pride on their sleeves—and faces and chests—and cheered the on-ice heroics of the Golden Bears.

The final score—the Golden Bears defeated the UBC Thunderbirds 5–3—was a bonus, but the main goal of the Oct. 25 international hockey game was to welcome international students to campus, connect them with local alumni and community leaders and instil a sense of pride in the U of A, said Sean Price, associate vice-president of Alumni Relations, which organized the event with University of Alberta International and Athletics.

“Many international students, especially those coming here for the first time, don’t know Canada or our culture that well. Hockey is near and dear to our hearts, and this was a chance to show students what it’s all about,” Price said.

In addition to learning the ins and outs of the game, students got a chance to make signs and noisemakers, and wear their U of A pride. But they also had an opportunity to get to know local alumni. International student specialist Nora Lambrecht said international students are a big part of the campus community, and UAI is always looking for ways to help them get more involved.

“Recreation is a big part of that,” she said, “and so is meeting previous grads, learning where they’ve come from and what they have accomplished.”

Price added the Alumni Association recognizes students are not just future alumni, they’re “part of the alumni family the minute they step on campus.”

“That’s why it’s important for us to support what’s important for students right now.”